Lesen im Staub: Marguerite Duras' Césarée im Rahmen der Kanondebatte

  • Edith Futscher


Edith Futscher

Reading in the Dust: Marguerite Duras’ Césarée within the Debate on Canon

Duras’ short film is analyzed as a model of remembrance without envisioning. In rereading Racine’s Bérénice (1670), who himself converted an episode of Roman history into a Baroque tragedy, Duras reinforces the literary canon while atomizing the tragedy. She does so by establishing references to different layers of time and objects of visual culture, which is analyzed in Benjamin’s terms. Images of illegibility, hieroglyphs, reflections, and black screen provide insight into a specific opaqueness of history. A forgotten part of history (or “herstory”) is focused in order not to fill in the blank but to expose it, to read it. This exposure of gaps might be a possible and critical way of dealing with the canon.