‘Drink, She Said’: Around the World of Durassian Alcohol

  • Anne-Lucile Gérardot


Campari, manzanilla, bourbon, wine: in the works of Marguerite Duras, each text introduces a new alcoholic drink, which seems to bring, in turn, a distinctive colouration to it. Here lies the power of Durassian alcohol, which, according to Dominique Carlat: ‘intensifies the perception of the qualities of the world’, such as ‘the Italian heat, spicy as Campari’ (2000, p. 65). As this suggests, alcohol is closely linked to the space and time surrounding its consumption and, conversely, drunkenness seems to affect the way space and time are perceived by the drinker. This chapter aims at establishing a succinct ‘cultural geography’ (ibid., p. 66) of alcohol in Duras’s work by analysing the complex and unique interaction between Durassian alcohol and the ‘space-time’ or ‘chronotope’ defined by Bakhtine as ‘the fusion of spatial and temporal indications in an intelligible and concrete whole’ (1978, p. 137). Mapping out alcohol, not according to the different types of drinks, but according to the space-time they relate to, this exploration starting from the terroir, will then take us to the café, and will finally follow Durassian drinkers around the world. By the end of this literary journey a unique dynamics, specific to Durassian alcohol and characterised by rupture and return, should emerge and consequently reveal its liberating potential as well as its limits.


Fusional State Unique Dynamic Cultural Geography Liberate Potential Literary Journey 
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© Anne-Lucile Gérardot 2015

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  • Anne-Lucile Gérardot

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