Don’t do anything but write

Don’t do anything but write is a book depicting two different voices, from different periods and contexts on the act of writing. The main text is from Marguerite Duras’ book, Writing, published in 1993. The second voice is Patrick Modiano’s Nobel prize speech in 2014. Both french, they tackle the subject with similarities but also divergences.

Duras’ confessions appear to be some of the thoughts floating in her head on the subject of writing and solitude. These tend to take the form of short paragraphs or single lines. Overall, the work gives the impression of the sort of notes you might write when preparing to give a speech where you want just the right phrase, attacking and re-attacking a single idea from different angles. It is why I have selected Patrick Modiano’s Nobel prize speech, to support and contrast Duras’ thoughts, both dealing and exploring the aspect of writing, their relationship with loneliness, through memories, experiences of life and death.