Marguerite (Donnadieu) Duras

Marguerite Germaine Marie (Donnadieu) Duras (1914 - 1996)

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Marguerite Germaine Marie Duras formerly Donnadieu aka Antelme, Mascolo
Born in Gia Dinh, Saïgon, Indochinemap
Ancestors ancestors
Wife of — married 23 Sep 1939 in Paris XV, Paris, Seine, Francemap
[children unknown]
Died in Paris VI, Paris, Île-de-France, Francemap
Profile last modified 22 Sep 2019 | Created 3 Oct 2017
This page has been accessed 717 times.
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Marguerite (Donnadieu) Duras is Notable.

Marguerite Duras is one of the most widely read 20th century French writers and is possibly best known for her book The Lover and her screenplay for Hiroshima mon amour.

Her real name was Marguerite Donnadieu and she was born on the 4th April 1914 in French Indochina at Gia Dinh[1] a town in the northern suburbs of the great southern city of Saigon, now known as Hồ Chí Minh City (Vietnamese: Thành phố Hồ Chí Minh).

She was the daughter of Henri Donnadieu, a mathematics teacher from Lot et Garonne in France and Marie Legrand[1], a farmer's daughter from Pas de Calais, who taught calculus and French grammar.

Marguerite was the third child and had two older brothers - the elder, Pierre, his mother's favourite, who was born in 1909 and the younger, Paul who was born in 1912.

It was in Vietnam that Duras set her autobiographical novel, The Lover. L'amant was published in France in 1984 and first translated into English in 1985. Since then the book has been translated into more than forty languages. The Lover won Duras France’s most prestigious literary award, the Prix Goncourt. In 1992, The Lover became a film directed by Jean-Jacques Annaud and starring Jane March as the Young Girl and Tony Leung as the Chinese Man. [2] After a disagreement with Annaud, Duras turned her original screenplay for "The Lover," into a new autobiographical variant of "L'amant", called "The Lover From Northern China." To this day, nobody knows which of the three versions was the closest to reality.

Marguerite was a child when her father died, and after attending school and facing poverty in Saigon, she moved to France at the age of 18 to study law and political science. In 1932, while studying, Marguerite Duras met Robert Antelme, who she married in Paris on September 23, 1939[1][3]. The couple had a child who was stillborn.

In 1943, Marguerite joined a Resistance group that also had future French President, François Mitterrand as a member.

In 1944, Robert Antelme was arrested and deported to Dachau. After the liberation of the camp, he returned to Paris in a greatly weakened state.

In 1947 Marguerite Duras divorced Robert Antelme[1] and married[citation needed] his friend Dionys Mascolo. The couple soon had a son who was named Jean.

Marguerite Duras' screenplay for the 1959 film Hiroshima mon amour earned her an Oscar nomination, while in 1983 she was awarded the Grand Prix du Théâtre de l’Académie Française and in 1992 won the prestigious Prix Goncourt for L'amant.

Marguerite Duras passed away on the 3rd March 1996 in Paris (6th arrondissement), France at the age of 81[1]. The cause of death was cancer of the throat.

Her funeral was held in the church of Saint-Germain-des-Pres in Paris and she was buried in Montparnasse cemetary in Paris.

Grave of Margeurite Duras


The story of my life doesn’t exist. Does not exist. There’s never any centre to it. No path, no line. There are great spaces where you pretend there used to be someone, but it’s not true, there was no one.
Marguerite Duras, The Lover.

Years after the war, after marriages, children, divorces, books, he came to Paris with his wife. He phoned her. It's me. She recognized him at once from the voice. He said, I just wanted to hear your voice. She said, it's me, hello. He was nervous, afraid, as before. His voice suddenly trembled. And with the trembling, suddenly, she heard again the voice of China. He knew she'd begun writing books, he'd heard about it through her mother whom he'd met again in Saigon. And about her younger brother, and he'd been grieved for her. Then he didn't know what to say. And then he told her. Told her that it was as before, that he still loved her, he could never stop loving her, that he'd love her until death.
Marguerite Duras, The Lover.


Marguerite Duras, de son vrai nom Marguerite Donnadieu, est née le 4 avril 1914 en Indochine à Gia Dinh, une ville de la banlieue Nord de Hô-Chi-Minh-Ville, ou Thành phố Hồ Chí Minh, auparavant appelée Saïgon, la grande ville du sud. [4]

Son père, Henri Donnadieu, natif du Lot et Garonne, est professeur de mathématique. Sa mère Marie Legrand, fille de fermiers du Pas de Calais, enseigne le calcul et la grammaire française.

Troisième née de la famille, Marguerite a deux grands frères Pierre, cinq ans, le préféré de sa mère, et Paul né en 1912.

En 1932, alors qu'elle vient d'obtenir son baccalauréat, elle quitte Saïgon et vient s'installer en France pour poursuivre ses études. Elle obtient en 1963 une licence en droit.

Cette même année elle rencontre un certain Robert Antelme qu'elle épousera en 1939. De cette union naîtra en 1942 un premier enfant malheureusement mort-né. Cette période troublé dans la vie de Marguerite Donnadieu sera marquée également par la rencontre de son futur second mari, Dionys Mascolo.

En 1943 Marguerite et Robert Antelme déménage, ils s'installent au 5 rue St Benoît, à Paris, dans le quartier de Saintt Germain des Près. Robert Antelme et Dionys Mascolo se lient d'une profonde amitié et avec Marguerite entrent dans la résistance. 1944 est l'année qui marque l'arrestation de son mari Robert, déporté à Dachau. A la libération Robert Antelme est libéré dans un état critique, il rejoint son épouse dans son domicile parisien. En 1947 Marguerite Duras divorce et se remarie avec Dionys Mascolo dont elle aura rapidement un enfant prénommé Jean.

Marguerite Duras est mort le 3 mars 1996 à Paris, France à l'âge de 81 ans.


L'histoire de ma vie n'existe pas. Ca n'existe pas. Il n'y a jamais de centre. Pas de chemin, pas de ligne. Il y a de vastes endroits où l'on fait croire qu'il y avait quelqu'un, ce n'est pas vrai il n'y avait personne.
Marguerite Duras, L'amant.

Des années après la guerre, après les mariages, les enfants, les divorces, les livres, il était venu à Paris avec sa femme. Il lui avait téléphoné. C'est moi. Elle l'avait reconnu dès la voix. Il avait dit: je voulais seulement entendre votre voix. Elle avait dit: c'est moi, bonjour. Il était intimidé, il avait peur comme avant. Sa voix tremblait tout à coup. Et avec le tremblement, tout à coup, elle avait retrouvé l'accent de la Chine. Il savait qu'elle avait commencé à écrire des livres, il l'avait su par la mère qu'il avait revue à Saigon. Et aussi pour le petit frère, qu'il avait été triste pour elle. Et puis il n'avait plus su quoi lui dire. Et puis il le lui avait dit. Il lui avait dit que c'était comme avant, qu'il l'aimait encore, qu'il ne pourrait jamais cesser de l'aimer, qu'il l'aimerait jusqu'à sa mort.
Marguerite Duras, L'amant.


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 Acte de naissance: Acte #3, vue 3, Naissances Vietnam GIA DINH 1914, Archives Nationales d'Outre-Mer
  2. Wikipedia entry on The Lover (film)
  3. Acte de mariage: Acte #1926, Mariages 1939 Paris XVème, Archives de Paris en ligne cote 15M 369 vue 3, consulté mai 2018
  4. Margeurite Dusas Association de Régie Théâtrale

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The French Roots project would be willing to co-manage this profile representing an important French notable.

Could you please add wikitree-french-roots at googlegroups dot com as manager? Please contact us if there are any questions or issues - Thank you !

Marguerite is 46 degrees from Donald Howard, 38 degrees from Julia Howe and 36 degrees from Henry VIII of England on our single family tree. Login to find your connection.

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