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by Marguerite Duras, translated by Ann Lenore Derrickson
There are no vacations from love.
In this careful translation from the French novel by Marguerite Duras, five Parisians spend an interminable three days of their vacations at a dreary Italian beach resort. There is nothing to do but talk, drink bitter Camparis, and contemplate (or perhaps consummate) a love affair or two. As the days wear on, they imperceptibly change some of their beliefs, fromFor some time I have not liked the idea of changing the world at all costs to But certainly it is necessary to change the world, concluding with There are no vacations from love.Love, it is necessary to live it completely with its boredom and everything; there are no vacations from that.
Ann Lenore Derrickson, the translator of this novel by French writer Marguerite Duras, has stepped outside her normal scholarly precincts with this book. Up to now, she has worked thoroughly within the canon of English literature, writing and presenting poetry and papers on Shakespeares Ophelia, Yeats, Virginia Woolf, and the medieval Gawain poet, among others, at such venues as Comitatus, The National Book of Poetry, The Philological Association of the Pacific Coast, and the Modern Language Association.
This scholarly reputation has been fully earned. Born in St. Louis, Missouri, Ann Derrickson earned her B.A. from Harvard University and her M.A. and Ph.D. from the University of California at Berkeley. Now she is moving into working with modern European fiction, a major shift in fields.
Asked why she selected this book, she said, "The themes interest me and make it a good work to translate."(2009, paperback, 148 pages)