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Passion simple

Or attempts to plot the emotional and physical course of her two year relationship with a married foreigner where every word event and person either provides a connection with her beloved or. Whether or not he was worth it is of no conseuence And the fact that all this is gradually slipping away from me as if it concerned another woman does not change this one truth thanks to him I was able to approach the frontier separating me from others to the extent of actually believing that I could sometimes cross over it I measured time differently with all my body I discovered what people are capable of in other words anything sublime or deadly desires lack of dignity attitudes and beliefs I had found absurd in others until I myself turned to them Without knowing it he brought me closer to the world The above passage comes at the end of Ernaux s Simple Passion and each time I read this small book I do the same thing I get to this part at the end where her lover returns for a day a moment He is 38 now upon return youthful but weary a perfect description of 38 I expect it will be like the end of The Lover I read expecting this each time marveling at how Ernaux in her French elegance invokes DurasBut then it fails Or subverts expectation The lover disappoints He does not say what Duras narrator s lover says that he s always loved her He is callous And it is perfect this way how it invokes The Lover and then rejects The Lover as Ernaux notes that it was another woman entirely as if it concerned another woman because of course it didI ve long been drawn to Ernaux s writing to her freedom the freedom or courage she has to write her experience Simple Passion is among my favorites a book that chronicles an affair that becomes about the erotics of writing the pleasure of that which is linked to the pleasure of the body The shame too which comes later

Summary Passion simple

In her spare stark style Annie Ernaux documents the desires and indignities of a human heart ensnared in an all consuming passion Blurring the lines between fact and fiction an unnamed narrat. At a spare sixty one pages Annie Ernaux s account of a woman s experience with all consuming passion is mercifully briefAnd this is a mercy because for a woman of the current cultural age great shame attaches to the knowledge that the self can be surrendered so cheaply and completely that one can and does make a willing transformation compelled by pure emotional need into the servant of another s whim To perceive oneself alive only in his presence to recognize his absence as a kind of death sensing the slip into a holding pattern held in reserve through his inattendance like a toy set once again to its shelf This is a difficult reality to address We do this It happens No one really talks about it yet we get the sense we have humiliated ourselves and should never ever let it happen againAnd this is why Ernaux s analysis of the phenomenon is important Her terse and brutally honest conveyance of the id ness of it all the primitive hunger the compulsive grasping the self serving nature of every interpersonal transaction without the trappings of romance or the yardstick of morality allows for the creation of an eually honest internal space in which we might reflect on our own experience with obsession enslavement and lustFrankly I think this is the drive behind the massive popularity of Fifty Shades of Grey It s the hunt for a place in which we might safely inspect passion and shame Having read both I can tell you this What EL James dismisses Annie Ernaux provides

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Is subject to her cold indifference With courage and exactitude she seeks the truth behind an existence lived entirely for someone else and in the pieces of its aftermath she is able to find. Simple Passion by Annie Ernaux was one of the books mentioned in Lance Donaldson Evans One Hundred Great French Books I haven t heard of Annie Ernaux before and so decided to try this book I read it in one sitting and finished it yesterday Here is what I think Simple Passion at around sixty pages is not really a novel With wide spacing between lines and with luxurious space on the borders of the page it could be called at best a novella or probably a long short story It is not clear from the book whether it is fiction or a memoir The classification on the back cover says Literature Memoir The narrator of the book describes the affair she once had with a married man from a different country who was working in Paris The only way they communicated was by phone when the man called her and told her he was going to visit her She then waited for him to visit anxiously preparing herself getting the right clothes wearing the right makeup getting food and drink for the evening preparing herself emotionally but also looking forward to the visit with a lot of excitement But then he comes they have intimate moments together he leaves and then she is worn out And she starts the long agonizing wait for the next phone call from him At some point she stops seeing her friends going out for movies or having any kind of social life as she is waiting for her lover s phone call when she is not working this was during the days before the advent of the mobile phone The narrator s thoughts about this whole affair comprise the rest of the book Simple Passion is an interesting book There is not much of a plot here the plot can be told in two lines The book is mostly about the narrator s thoughts on life love longing waiting the agony of parting I am pretty sure it will deeply resonate with anyone who has had an affair or even with anyone who has ever been in love Annie Ernaux s prose is spare and simple but there are beautiful sentences in every page Though I read it in one sitting I read it very slowly and enjoyed lingering over those beautiful sentences For example she describes the brief time she spends with her lover as An interval of time sueezed in between two car noises his Renault 25 braking then driving off againAnd she describes her feelings after her lover leaves like this As soon as he left I would be overcome by a wave of fatigue I wouldn t tidy up straight away I would sit staring at the glasses the plates and their leftovers the overflowing ashtray the clothes the lingerie strewn all over the bedroom and the hallway the sheets spilling over on to the carpet I would have liked to keep that mess the way it was a mess in which every object evoked a caress or a particular moment forming a still life whose intensity and pain could never for me be captured by any painting in a museum In another place the narrator describes how she used to shop for new outfits to look beautiful for her lover when he visited her the next time In his absence I was only happy when I was out buying new dresses earrings stockings and trying them on at home in front of the mirror the ideal uite impossible being that he should see me each time in a different outfit He would only glimpse my new blouse or pumps for a couple of minutes before they were discarded in some corner until he left Of course I realized how pointless new clothes were in the event of his feeling desire for another woman But presenting myself in clothes he had already seen seemed a mistake a slackening in the uest for perfection for which I strove in my relationship with himIn another place the narrator talks about the imperfection of communication with her lover and how paradoxically this imperfection is sometimes perfect At first I was discouraged by the obvious limitations of our exchanges These were emphasized by the fact that although he spoke fairly good French I could not express myself in his language Later I realized that this situation spared me the illusion that we shared a perfect relationship or even formed a whole Because his French strayed slightly from standard use and because I occasionally had doubts about the meaning he gave to words I was able to appreciate the approximate uality of our conversations From the very beginning and throughout the whole of our affair I had the privilege of knowing what we all find out in the end the man we love is a complete strangerSometimes we think that writing about something which affected us deeply helps us make sense of it and is therapeutic but the narrator of the story says something different I know full well that I can expect nothing from writing which unlike real life rules out the unexpected To go on writing is also a means of delaying the trauma of giving this to others to read I hadn t considered this eventuality while I still felt the need to write But now that I have satisfied this need I stare at the written pages with astonishment and something resembling shame feelings I certainly never felt when I was living out my passion and writing about it The prospect of publication brings me closer to people s judgment and the normal values of society Having to answer uestions such as Is it an autobiography and having to justify this or that may have stopped many books from seeing the light of day except in the form of a novel which succeeds in saving appearances At this point sitting in front of the pages covered in my indecipherable scrawlings which only I can interpret I can still believe this is something private almost childish of no conseuence whatsoever like the declarations of love and the obscene expressions I used to write on the back of my exercise books in class or anything else one may write calmly in all impunity when there is no risk of it being read Once I start typing out the text once it appears before me in public characters I shall be through with innocenceAnnie Ernaux ends the book with this beautiful passage When I was a child luxury was fur coats evening dresses and villas by the sea Later on I thought it meant leading the life of an intellectual Now I feel that it is also being able to live out a passion for a man or a womanI have to say that I have got the leading the life of an intellectual part right so I can say that my life is filled with luxury in a way Simple Passion is a beautiful slim gem It is a book to be savoured over a winter evening warming oneself next to a fire having a drink Or alternately it can be savoured on a warm summer evening watching the sun set while sitting outdoors in the garden and sipping a delicious cup of tea I want to read other books of Annie Ernaux now Have you read Simple Passion by Annie Ernaux What do you think about it


About the Author: Annie Ernaux

Annie Ernaux is a French writerShe won the Prix Renaudot in 1984 for her book La Place an autobiographical narrative focusing on her relationship with her father and her experiences growing up in a small town in France and her subseuent process of moving into adulthood and away from her parents' place of origin



10 thoughts on “Passion simple

  1. says:

    At a spare sixty one pages Annie Ernaux's account of a woman's experience with all consuming passion is mercifully briefAnd this is a mercy because for a woman of the current cultural age great shame attaches to the knowledge that the self can be surrendered so cheaply and completely; that one can and does make a willing transformation compelled by pure emotional need into the servant of another's whim To perc

  2. says:

    This book reminded me of exactly how I felt when I fell for a married man Intense and overwhelming chemistry was

  3. says:

    This summer for the first time I watched an X rated film on Canal Plus My television set doesn't have a decoder; the images on the screen were blurred the words replaced by strange sound effects hissing and babbling a different sort of language soft and continuous One could make out the figure of a woman in a corset and stockings and a man The story was incomprehensible; it was impossible to predict any of the

  4. says:

    I do not wish to explain my passion that would imply that it were a mistake or some disorder I need to justify I just want to describe it p 23I hate reading books like this because they make me want to be in love againAt the same tim

  5. says:

    Honesty That the first thing I love about this book The extent of the honesty to a pathetic sad fault But it is unashamed about it And that's the other thingI was expecting the French to give it an increased sensuality or of a dreamlike uality that would distract me from what was actually happening with the beauty of its expression Instead i

  6. says:

    Whether or not he was 'worth it' is of no conseuence And the fact that all this is gradually slipping away from me as if it concerned another

  7. says:

    ‘Simple Passion’ by Annie Ernaux was one of the books mentioned in Lance Donaldson Evans’ ‘One Hundred Great French Books’ I haven’t heard of Annie Ernaux before and so decided to try this book I read it in one sitting

  8. says:

    book has been placed on the shelf of every house I have lived in since 1995 I have kept my first printing in the best collectible condition I possibly could keep it in The hardcover book has a Brodart archival dust jacket sleeve protecting it and though I had never read the book I kept it proudly displayed as if I had So after five different homes and five different book shelves Annie Ernaux's words finally found their w

  9. says:

    From September last year I did nothing else but wait for a man for him to call me and come round to my place 1% This book

  10. says:

    My roommatefriend Mita recommended this one to me and I'm glad she did it's a very uick engrossing read I think it took me half of a day to readVery simply this is a portrait of one woman's position as a mistress t

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