“I see journalists as the manual workers, the laborers of the word. Journalism can only be literature when it is passionate.” – Marguerite Duras
Duras, a French novelist, playwright, screenwriter, essayist, and experimental filmmaker, was born in French Indochina (Vietnam) on this date in 1914 and grew up there in poverty before running away from home as a teenager to live and write in France.
The author of many novels, plays, films, interviews, essays, and works of short fiction, she is best known for tales that recalled her affair with a rich landowner’s son while still living in Vietnam. Leading that list was her best-selling, fictionalized autobiographical work L'Amant, translated into English as The Lover. That book won her the prestigious Goncourt prize. Variations on the story of her teenage affair also appears in The Sea Wall, Eden Cinema and The North China Lover.
In 1983 she was awarded the Grand Prix du Théâtre de l’Académie française, a national theatre prize awarded annually to a playwright in recognition of his/her lifetime body of work. She also was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay for her film Hiroshima mon amour. While best known for her novels, plays and films, she also was greatly admired for her many journalistic essays that spoke to human rights and issues of social justice.
“Journalism without a moral position is impossible,” she said. “Every journalist is a moralist. It's absolutely unavoidable.”
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