The childish language of love.

Michaël Samyn, March 21, 2012

Editing the text for the dialogues in Bientôt l’été, I’m struck by how much I adore the self-pitying childishness of the language of love. Of course Duras has a way of playing this up. And maybe I am more sensitive to the charms of feminine naiveté -or is it playing at being naive for the sake of self-glorification?

There’s also a strange sort of joyous humor in the exaggerated expressions of desperate infatuation. Not in the least because of the polite form that Duras often uses to address a lover.

Je vous aime comme il n’est pas possible d’aimer.
— I love you like it is not possible to love.

Avant vous je ne savais rien de la souffrance….
— Before you I knew nothing of suffering.

Rien d’autre arrivera dans ma vie que cet amour pour vous.
— Nothing else will happen in my life but this love for you.

Votre corps va être emporté loin de moi, et je vais en mourir.
— Your body will be taken far from me, and I will die from that.

And then there’s the wonderful playing with cruelty, the purpose of which may be to provoke pain in the lover which will then count as proof of love.

Quand j’écris, je ne vous aime plus.
— When I’m writing, I don’t love you anymore.

Je préférais que vous ne m’aimez pas.
— I’d prefer you didn’t love me.

Je crois sincèrement que j’aurais pu ne pas vous aimer.
— I sincerly believe that I could have not loved you.

Parfois dans la journée, j’arrive à m’imaginer sans vous.
— Sometimes during the day, I manage to imagine myself without you.

I hope players will enjoy this sort of language as much as I do. I have no idea if this is supposed to be good or bad writing. I only know I find it incredibly endearing. It makes my heart tremble, brings a tear in my eye and a smile on my lips.

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