Marguerite Duras about New Narrative Regions

Niels Pagh Andersen vil have ballade. Den er jeg med på. Så jeg fortsætter med mit højtravende intellektuelle snak, som det er blevet kaldt. Jeg finder lige et citat igen, jeg faktisk fandt for nogle uger siden. Og nu nægter jeg at aflevere bogen på biblioteket. Det er fra indledningens ”General Remarks”:

”The names of Indian towns, rivers, states, and seas are used here primarily in a musical sense. All references to physical, human, or political geography are incorrect: You can’t drive from Calcutta to the estuary of the Ganges in an afternoon. Nor to Nepal. The ‘Prince of Wales’ hotel is not on an island in the Delta, but in Colombo. And New Delhi, not Calcutta, is the administrative capital of India. And so on.

The characters in the story have been taken out of a book called The vice-consul and projected into new narrative regions. So it is not possible to relate them back to the book and se India Song as a film or theatre adaption of The Vice-consul. Even where a whole episode is taken over from the book, its insertion into the new narrative means that it has to be read, seen, differently.

In fact, India Song follows on from The Woman of the Ganges. If  The Woman of the Ganges hadn’t been written, neither would India Song. The fact that it goes into and reveals an unexplored area of The vice-consul wouldn’t have been a sufficient reason.

What was a sufficient reason was the discovery, in The Woman of the Ganges of the means of exploration, revelation: the voices external to the narrative. This discovery made it possible to let the narrative be forgotten and put at the disposal of memories other than that of the author: memories which might remember, in the same way, any other love story. Memories that distort. That create. Some voices from The Woman of the Ganges have been used here. And even some of their words. That is about all that can be said.” (Marguerite Duras: India Song, 1973, English translation 1976)

Jeg skriver selvfølgelig det her lange citat af, fordi jeg lige nu tror, at hvis vi skal begynde eller gå videre med en diskussion om dokumentarfilm og dens religion, dokumentarismen, kunne det være skægt at veksle sætninger om virkelighederne, filmens virkelighed og den såkaldte virkeligheds virkelighed. Altså den uden for filmen, som man hævder findes. Glædelig jul til Niels P A og alle I andre…

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Allan Berg Nielsen
Allan Berg Nielsen

Allan Berg Nielsen started the first documentary cinema in Randers, Denmark way back in the 1970’es. He did so at the museum, where he was employed. He got the (16mm) films from the collection of the National Film Board of Denmark (Statens Filmcentral). He organised a film festival in his home city, became a member of the Board of Directors of the Film Board, started to write about films in diverse magazines, were a juror at several festivals and wrote television critiques in the local newspaper. From 1998-2003 Allan Berg was documentary film consultant (commissioning editor) at The Danish Film Institute, a continuation of the Film Board. Since then free lance consultant in documentary matters.

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