Remembering L’ Amant(English.ver)

je suis la préférée de sa vie

I am his favourite part of life

L'histoire de ma vie n'existe pas. Ça n'existe pas. IL n'y a jamais de centre.

My life story doesn't exist, there is no such thing. There is no core to create a story.

(L’amant:Marguerite Duras)


Once the storm has passed, the last tense becomes beautiful. Love history is purified and unpleasant things disappear. Even the cruel and sorrowful parts vanish. Among them, the first love of a woman is most likely to fade away. Probably it is not even “forgotten”, as one would expect a form to be lying on the banks of a river, but it has disappeared as if it had never existed.I regret that I did not make a special note of the memory of the first love to writers, myself included. Duras’s “L’ amant” is his first love, but for a long time the protagonist is unaware of it. In my experience, men often remember the story of their first love. I don’t remember much, honestly. I don’t know when it was love, but then there’s a haze when I try to remember it.

I was dating a guy a few years ago and he asked me about my first love, but I have a semi-questioning narrative tone mixed with my English. I kept saying “maybe” as if it was not my experience. This usage is normally taboo in English-speaking countries.  it’s strange to say “Maybe” when it’s your own memory. Nevertheless, when it comes to my memories, it’s “maybe”.

He remembered his first girlfriend so clearly. It seemed that just by listening to him, the woman would come to life. I could even see them kissing with the scent of aquanaut. I was watching the zoetrope-like afterimages he was showing me. His memories are untainted and in constant motion.

I said, ” good memory,” and he said, “Chris too?” I said, “Maybe”

When he kept asking me about the past, I said, “Is it such a big deal?  I vividly remember the sound of my fork dropping on my plate. Up to this point, I had always smiled. But in the flow of words I recall, there is no smile. I guess this is my tone of voice now. The truth is that I was laughing and talking, but now I begin to feel sad.

On the metro train on the way home, I reflected on the beautiful afterimage of him. The ” Girlfriend ” he talks about loves him all the time, and it makes my own heart burn. It wasn’t jealousy, but perhaps a love for the way he remembered her. At this moment, I remembered “L’ Amant” written by Marguerite Duras. I felt defeated that she remembered her first love, with an overseas Chinese, which I suppose is a talent for a writer. The first time a woman is with someone, she probably doesn’t remember it. The “pure ego” is a difficult thing.  Once a relationship has lost its way, its way of functioning, once it has been positioned as ” not to love “, it does not allow the conceptual manifestation of having loved to take place. I kept forgetting for the sake of the new guy. I had to forget as a break.

The characters in this novel world have no names.  This man and woman seem to have expressed that they will not leave their names in history.

The girl’s family, tricked into poverty, lives in French Indochina. There she meets an older man, an overseas Chinese, with whom she has an affair. The man tells the girl that he loves her, even though he has been contracted to marry another woman. But the girl tells him that it was for money. After the wedding, the girl waits in the “common bedroom” for him to come again, but he never comes.  Thanks to his “support money” she is able to return to her hometown and notices that his car is parked there.

She rests her elbows on the handrail, just as when she first met him.

When the girl realizes that she has loved an overseas Chinese, the scene on the ship enters the minds of many readers.

With the realization that “I have lost confidence that I did not love him”, She was on the ship, not with him. Chopin’s waltz No. 10 in B minor, OP69-2, played on the cruise ship, is the piece that led the protagonist to give up the piano, but it seems to have finally run its course for her.

It frustrates the performer to be unable to play the piano, even though there is a complete score. But in the world of writing, she has completed Chopin’s music.  She has succeeded in making her readers listen. More than anyone else, more beautiful than any pianist, she has made Chopin heard.

The word “image” appears frequently in the book, and Duras uses it to describe all the glances and memories of her girlhood. In French, the word image can also mean a reproduction, an exact copy. The girl in the work is also a likeness of herself. In the film, a scene in which she puts her foot on the fence of a ship is very impressive.

Regardless of human sentimentality and the search for love, the Mekong River flows unchanged, passing trade and people. The water has no ego, no desire, it lives and it dies. The Mekong has always existed, without memory being able to contract eternity. As we grow old, we may forget. Remembrance, the ship, seldom departs. The ship is a symbol of substance. The girl’s elbows (or, in the film, her feet) on the fence of the boat are evidence of the reality of the image.

Why did Duras write about his memories as a teenager after all these years? Speculation and reader curiosity about why Duras wrote about his teenage memories after all these years became the wind in the girl’s hair.

She had succeeded in preserving her first love. Like the success of a long sea journey.

For the girl, God’s revelation was on the ships.

There is no scaffolding in the nature of immersion. Hiding from each other, a shady relationship was a world of disconnection between two people. We never introduced them to our friends, we never told our families. I was running down the stairs to the underground, avoiding the crowds, following the many open doors with wide eyes, when I heard a ring on my earpiece.

How happy I was to hear him say, “I had a great time”, and my feet moved away from the doors, as if to break away from the crowd.  Leaning against the platform wall, my feet hot in my heels, and waited for his reply. ‘I’m worried about you, call me when you get home,” he said, so I got on the next train.

Pleasant memories become melancholic stories at the end of the relationship.

Like the girl who said, “I’m old at eighteen”

The first love I tried to tell him about was the tale of how I eventually became a woman.  I wonder if there is a moment in a man’s life when becomes a man, I have never heard of it until now.

I had nothing to say except that I had become a woman.I couldn’t say, “I’d choke if I remembered the man “, and my hand slackened involuntarily and I dropped my fork.

That’s all I remember sometimes. Love between humans can hurt people to death .It gives and receives wounds, and when it is over, the tears are more for the good memories than for the sad ones.

Melancholy narratives are more than words, they are dreams.

Unbound by the confines of words, the heart is a dream that becomes an image.

I always dream that one day I will be able to tell a story that is only sad now, but that it was love. I keep dreaming about how a sad story can become love.

Duras has completed everything.

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