Book summary: Destroy, She Said

1970 BY MARGUERITE DURAS

In this classic novel by the best-selling author of The Lover, erotic intrigue masks a chillingly deceptive form of madness. Elisabeth Alione is convalescing in a hotel in rural France when she meets two men and another woman. The sophisticated dalliance among the four serves to obscure an underlying violence, which, when the curtain of civilization is drawn aside, reveals in her fellow guests a very contemporary, perhaps even new, form of insanity.

Like many of Duras's novels, Destroy, She Said owes much to cinema, displaying a skillful interplay of dialogue and description. There are recurring moods and motifs from the Duras repertoire: eroticism, lassitude, stifled desire, a beautiful woman, a mysterious forest, a desolate provincial hotel.

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