Repetition and Intermediality in Marguerite Duras’s The Atlantic Man: Practicing Dibutade’s Craft in the XXth Century
In the 1980s, in an act not dissimilar to that of Dibutade’s, Marguerite Duras makes a film out of the failure of language to come to terms with a beloved’s absence. More than a story of a lost love, the film explores this very failure: The Atlantic Man is a film almost entirely without of images. This experiment pushes cinematic limits so far that it ceases to be ‘visual’. A year later, Duras transforms the film into an eponymous novel. Duras’s deliberate transition from literature to cinema lends itself to an intermedial comparison that echoes Lessing’s Laocoön. Using deleuzian terminology, the article will then explain how Duras’s ostentatious literary and cinematic use of difference and repetition transgresses medium-specific norms. The article concludes with a comparison of these two critical approaches to The Atlantic Man which, as a hybrid creation, was born as a symbolic “work of mourning” of a lost love whose absent presence can only indirectly alluded to.
Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 4.0 License
Citation of this paper:
Alexandra Irimia. "Repetition and Intermediality in Marguerite Duras’s The Atlantic Man: Practicing Dibutade’s Craft in the XXth Century." MuseMedusa, no 6, 2018,