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Lagraziana's Kalliopeion

This is a blog about my reads as well as everything related to them.

My taste is for good quality literature - old and new. Some of it I review here or on my main book blog Edith's Miscellany.



A Man, A Woman, A Search For Love and Happiness: The Sailor from Gibraltar by Marguerite Duras

Der Matrose von Gibraltar: Roman (suhrkamp taschenbuch) - Marguerite Duras The Sailor from Gibraltar (Calderbook, Cb157) - Marguerite Duras

Abridged version of my review posted on Edith’s Miscellany on 27 September 2013

The story of The Sailor from Gibraltar begins on a hot day in August 1947. The nameless narrator and his fiancée Jacqueline are on holidays in Italy. He’s fed up with virtually all aspects of his life: he hates his job, loathes his colleagues and stays together with Jacqueline out of habit. The couple moves from Florence on to Rocca and the narrator finally takes his life into his own hands. To begin with he breaks up with Jacqueline. Then he meets Anna who is staying onboard her yacht, the Gibraltar. It is said that she has been travelling the world for years in search of the man she loves, a murderer on the run whom Anna simply calls the sailor from Gibraltar. The narrator falls for the enigmatic American and becomes her lover. He wants to be with her and gives up his job at the Colonial Ministry in Paris to join her crew. Both know that it can only be a temporary affair which will end when they find the sailor from Gibraltar, but the mysterious man is always one step ahead of them.

The plot of The Sailor from Gibraltar is simple and devised into two parts. The shorter first part is dedicated to the narrator, his personal history and everything that leads to the break-up with his fiancée. The much longer second part of the novel is widely dominated by a monotonous travel onboard the yacht. There isn’t much action in this novel because Marguerite Duras is more interested in the characters of the narrator and Anna, two lonely creatures running after happiness and love. The travel serves just as the perfect metaphor for life itself. The writer’s language and style are easy to follow. At the same time they are poetic and full of symbolism which is quite obvious in some cases and hidden in others.

Some may find The Sailor from Gibraltar by Marguerite Duras boring, while others will love it like I did. Novels with a philosophical turn use to be very much in my line and I didn’t miss the action at all. My judgement: Highly recommended.

For the full review please click here to go to my blog Edith’s Miscellany. I

Source: http://edith-lagraziana.blogspot.com