Yann Andrea Steiner by Marguerite Duras
"In 1979, aged 65, the iconic French writer Marguerite Duras was exhausted, creatively emptied out and drinking herself to death. For many months, the only thing that had sustained her was writing fragments of letters to an imagined addressee, perhaps as notes to be turned into an epistolary novel but mostly because she needed a confidante and would have to create one if he didn’t exist. The notes were full of exclamations like ‘I must stop drinking at night, I must go to bed early so that I can write you long letters and not die.’ These were perilous times for Duras who, despite a hectic life in the thick of political and artistic movements, was lonely, in a way that not only ate at her soul, but undermined her creative vitality. She had always needed to give voice to her inner violence, either in difficult love affairs or in her difficult texts and films, but here she was, old and ugly and all washed up. What would become of her now?"
"And what was in it for him? ‘I can’t live without her,’ a friend of Duras’s, Michèle Manceaux, quotes him as saying. ‘She’s a drug; I’m her main focus, the focus of all her attention. No one has ever loved me like that. Her writing about it, about the passion, it doesn’t kill me, I’m no longer me, Yann, but she’s made me exist to the power of a hundred.’ Yann received, then, the classic payback of the muse, a chance to be vitally enmeshed in the creative genius of another, to be transformed and immortalized, and he seemed to be satisfied by it."Yann Andrea