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The Ravishing of Lol Stein

3.69  ·  Rating details ·  2,550 Ratings  ·  170 Reviews
Lol Stein is a beautiful young woman, securely married, settled in a comfortable life--and a voyeur. Returning with her husband and children to the town where, years before, her fiance had abandoned her for another woman, she is drawn inexorably to recreate that long-past tragedy.
Paperback, 181 pages
Published March 12th 1986 by Pantheon (first published 1964)
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mark monday
Sep 28, 2011 rated it liked it
Recommended to mark by: RBRS (Assignment #2)
so there's this chick Lol Stein, a real blank broad, gets ditched by her cougar-lovin' fiance. bitch goes crazy, but the quiet kinda crazy, the kinda crazy you keep to yourself. girl gets married to some musician type. years later, she's a mother of three, living in her old town, and she gets wrapped up in her hottie best friend's life. the best friend is busy giving it up to this prick, a dapper don who works with her husband at the local hospital. Lol gets obsessed with the douchebag. some bor ...more
nope. i do not like marguerite duras.

janet flanner, in the new yorker claims that her writing has a "shine like crystal." and that's probably true, if one is observing that it is as pointy and depthless as crystal, as chill and remote, as something that refracts emptily. ooooh duras BURN!!

if this is a literary bodice ripper, i gotta say i prefer the crappy contemporary ones. this one isn't even intense with the taut tingling of repression, which also has its place and is something i can appreci
Steven  Godin
Mar 31, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: france, amour
Working my way through the novels of Marguerite Duras, I kept thinking, sooner or later one will eventually lead to disappointment, it could have been this, it wasn't. For again she has hit me in the most painful of places, the heart.

The Ravishing of Lol Stein, in simple terms is a love story, but those who are familiar with her work will know she writes in a stark, minimal style, with short sentencing, but done in a most profoundly haunting way. There are three main viewpoints, looking in from
Ahmad Sharabiani
424. Le Ravissement de Lol V. Stein = The Ravishing of Lol V. Stein = The rapture of Lol V. Stein, Marguerite Duras
Le ravissement de Lol V. Stein is a novel written by Marguerite Duras and published in France by Gallimard in 1964. The text was translated by Richard Seaver and published as The Ravishing of Lol Stein in the US by Grove Press in 1966. The text was also translated by Eileen Ellenbogen in the UK as The rapture of Lol V. Stein for Hamish Hamilton in 1967.
At the beginning of the novel,
Nate D
The displacement brought on by conjecture and uncertainty -- what does any other person truly think or feel? how can we know? -- moves this smoothly out of the actual and into the metaphysical. Beautifully, destroyingly. Duras' prose is a tension system of concepts in deadly suspension, but this one seems to occur at a pivot-point. Five years later, of Destroy, She Said, Duras would say something like "I'm so sick of plots, all the telling what happened, I can't stand it anymore" and proceed to ...more
K.D. Absolutely
Mar 02, 2010 rated it liked it
Recommended to K.D. by: 1001 Books You Must Read Before You Die (2006-2010)
Shelves: 1001-core
Reading this book is like sitting beside a sleepy tranquil lake on one lazy Sunday afternoon. You appreciate the serene surroundings, the chirping birds, the blowing gentle breeze, the scent of the trees mixed with the water. You then see a small boat docked by the lake side and decide to have do some rowing. Unknown to you, there is a lake “loch” monster silently stirring below the lake and at anytime will pop out the water and will eat you alive.

My first book by Marguerite Duras (1914-1996), a
Oct 30, 2008 rated it liked it
Shelves: schooldaze
Duras’ writing is like taking a slow drug—something woozy and disorienting, a little foggy yet intensifying, slowing down time here, speeding it up there. Her style is fluid and incantatory; a hypnotic movement of memory and breath, a watercolor swirl of feelings on the surface of a lake that at first glance appears calm and neutral, but underneath something bubbles up, the premonition of a storm, and while reading I am waiting and waiting for that storm to break, for all the silt being churned ...more
I can feel a Marguerite Duras fixation coming on.

While fairly impressed with her late novel L'amant de la Chine du nord , I wasn't completely drawn into Duras's milieu until David and I watched Hiroshima mon amour, the 1959 Alain Resnais film for which she wrote the screenplay. To put it bluntly, Hiroshima mon amour blew. me. away. The opening sequence reduced me to sobs, overlaying Emmanuelle Riva's and Eiji Okada's stark, dreamlike narration (a stylized argument, which at times seems almost t
Apr 04, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2012
An intriguing read, difficult to review because the story doesn't really follow narrative rules about plot progression or character motivations. I think this is deliberate on the part of the author because the subject is so intimate, so passionate and mysterious. Duras doesn't explain and doesn't analyze the love life of Lola V Stein, who may or may not be crazy. I suspect she is normal, as normal as anyone can be who has been deeply wounded in the first enthusiasm of young love and has chosen t ...more
Jun 16, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Anyone. Absolutely anyone, it's that beautiful and haunting.
Recommended to Cari by: After reading "The Lover," I was desperate for more Duras.
This book has haunted me since I first read it three years ago. I remembered so well the feeling I had while reading this the first time, lethargic and removed from reality, as if a veil had fallen between myself and the rest of the world, the edges of everything having gone soft and blurry, and that same sensation came flooding back as I read a second time. Additionally, this second reading made me slightly restless, not from boredom but from a subtle anxiety emanating from the pages, growing m ...more
Philippe Malzieu
I shall not have to read it at the same time as Proust. Her style appears in all its artificiality. A kind of clinical and cold manierism. The distance which the writing puts with regard to the character disembody them. They are reduced to the state of archétipaux skeletons. And the history is of an exceptional foolishness. Harlequin in the Nouveau Roman. To flee.
Tatiana Karl, Tatiana Karl, Tatiana Karl... Yes Marguerite, after the umpteenth iteration we know the character's full name by now...

I know charitable literary critics call this repetition of the various characters' full names an "incantation," but I call it a silly pretentious affect. I suppose it's part of Duras' strategy to convey the title character's obsession, which distills her ultimate happiness and sadness to a singular point in time where she has become emotionally and mentally growth
Adriana Scarpin
"Penso que, apesar de Marguerite Duras me fazer saber por sua própria boca que não sabe, em toda sua obra, de onde lhe veio Lol, e mesmo que eu pudesse vislumbrar, pelo que ela me diz, a frase posterior, a única vantagem que um psicanalista tem o direito de tirar de sua posição, sendo-lhe esta reconhecida como tal, é a de lembrar, com Freud, que em sua matéria o artista sempre o precede e, portanto, ele não tem que bancar o psicólogo quando o artista lhe desbrava o caminho.
Foi precisamente isso
Jul 29, 2008 rated it liked it
Pretty good, I guess, but not quite as good as The Ravishing of ROTFLMAO Stein.
Rafael Montenegro-Fausto
e hoje já não há mais nada de Marguerite Duras no Brasil :/
"Il y a quelques jours un de mes amis qui revenait de Rio de Janeiro m’a dit : « Tu te rends compte,
Lol V. Stein, notre livre, si difficile, quand j’ai débarqué de l’avion, la première chose que j’ai vue dans
les vitrines des librairies de l’aéroport, en lettres lumineuses, c’est O Deslumbramento 5°Ediçào. »" (DURAS, 1985, La vie matérielle)
''Que se serait-il passé ? Lol ne va pas loin dans l'inconnu sur lequel s'ouvre cet instant. Elle
Oct 11, 2004 rated it really liked it
Long piece on Duras being mulled over at present.
I didn't manage to get into this book, it was just too opaque. I never understand what is that exactly that happen to this young woman then and what exactly is going on many years after, at the time of narration. The language is one thing that really saves this book. If you completely forget about the actual story, it is a beautiful exercise in using the words for a wonderful meditative description of characters, situation and landscapes. However, that wonderful exquisite sketches never worked t ...more
Nguyễn Hoàng Vũ
Có vẻ như đây là tác phẩm dễ chịu nhất của M. D mà tôi đã đọc. Nhưng mà, nói sao ta, vẫn cứ thấy thiếu thiếu gì đó để trở thành một tác phẩm lớn. Có vẻ như Le Monde hơi ưu ái M. D khi xếp "Nỗi đam mê của Lol. V. Stein" vào danh sách 100 cuốn sách hay nhất thế kỷ 20.
You can read my review here:
Dec 18, 2017 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: list-by-le-monde
En determinado punto de la historia me he perdido. Al comienzo pensé que el libro quizá podría gustarme, pero me equivoqué.
Mar 26, 2011 rated it it was ok
1001 Books You Must Read Before You Die group read.

Reading this one for a group read. Why? I like torture? I don't know folks... yeah it's kinda dreamy and poetic, stream-of-consciousness writing... but it's boring. Does anything happen, I mean HAPPEN to these people? lol Ok... I'm going to finish it because I'm half-way through and it reads fast... but I'm yawning folks. Plus, I find I'm flipping back and forth trying to figure out who's saying what. Maybe something got lost in the translation,
Jennie Rogers
Jan 05, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: 20th-century, french
“That she had so completely recovered her sanity was a source of sadness to her. One should never be cured of one's passion.”

Remember that guy who wronged you when you were, like, 17? & you swore to yourself you'd never get over it in a very miss havisham-esque manner? But time passes & you sort of do get over it even if you won't admit it to yourself but you build your identity or lack of identity off that one exact moment of betrayal and everything now is a repercussion of that moment.
May 11, 2010 rated it liked it
Sample paragraph: "Lol dreams of another time when the same thing that is going to happen would happen differently. In another way. A thousand times. Everywhere. Elsewhere. Among others, thousands of others who, like ourselves, dream of this time, necessarily. This dream contaminates me." The three-star rating is not for readability.
Jun 27, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2015, somewhere-else
The only thing I know anything about is the immobility of life. Therefore, when the immobility is destroyed, I know it.
—Lol Stein
Madeleine LeBlanc
Jul 04, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Quand j’ai commencé à lire ce livre la première fois, je n’ai pas pu le terminer. La narration me rendait complètement mal à l’aise. Celle-ci passe régulièrement du ‘il’ au ‘je’ presqu’indiféremment, sans qu’on sache au début qui est ce ‘je’ et qui est ce ‘il’. Au quart du livre environ, on apprend le nom du narrateur. On situe alors un peu mieux les choses, mais comme la folie est au centre de l’histoire on continue de douter de la réalité des choses.
Une fois prévenue de cette particularité du
Eric  Cepela
Apr 09, 2018 rated it liked it
such disparity in duras’s writing.

the past century erotica about orchestrating and experiencing an affair from the outside is fun.

though the Pride and Prejudice focus on relationships with women being hysterical and men simple adds to the fantasy, it’s grating. the whole thing is hysterical. like the crying and laughing in The North China Lover. duras uses that hysteria. it’s excessive here.

and there’s a Three Women exploration of identity.

while the narrative perspective switches have somethi
Jul 18, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Belle ode à cette tendance que nous avons tous à imaginer la vie des autres, que nous les connaissions plus ou moins. Ce fantasme autour des sentiments d'autrui me parle beaucoup, et j'apprécie les descriptions très «cinématographiques» de ce livre là.
Dec 16, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: citite-2009
Mi-am zis când am citit-o că nu am înțeles cartea asta. Acum cred că nici nu era de înțeles, nebunie, încântare, totuna. Ce mi-a rămas în urma citirii sunt senzații, iar astea iată că nu se uită nici după ani.
Jan 23, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: french-books
Tôi đã phải đợi gặp cuốn sách này ngót 15 năm sau lần xuất bản đầu tiên, đợi bản thân mình đi hết một quãng đường 7 năm đầy cô đơn sau lần đầu tiên đọc tác phẩm Người tình thì hôm nay tôi mới có cơ hội được thức “trọn vẹn” một đêm cùng "Nỗi đam mê của Lol.V.Stein" của Marguerite Duras. Thành thử tôi sẽ cố viết một bài review dài thật dài cho bõ công đợi chờ :)) Dù rằng, viết về cuốn sách này hay bất kỳ cuốn sách nào của nữ sĩ Duras cũng luôn là việc quá khó khăn với tôi.

Trong đời của một người đ
May 04, 2011 rated it really liked it
In a word: hypnotic. Yet also, startling. This was recommended to me by a creative writing professor I had in college, after reading a short story I wrote involving a female protagonist who was similar to Lol. There are moments when, as one reviewer said, Marguerite Duras puts such a spell on the reader with the way she uses language, that the reader almost feels "drugged". It's a haunting, erotic novel of intersecting characters driven by loss, obsession and voyeurism. Lol is shattered by a tra ...more
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Marguerite Donnadieu, better known as Marguerite Duras (pronounced [maʀgəʁit dyˈʁas] in French) (April 4, 1914 – March 3, 1996) was a French writer and film director.

She was born at Gia-Dinh, near Saigon, French Indochina (now Vietnam), after her parents responded to a campaign by the French government encouraging people to work in the colony.

Marguerite's father fell ill soon after their arrival,
More about Marguerite Duras

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“That she had so completely recovered her sanity was a source of sadness to her. One should never be cured of one's passion.” 177 likes
“She had lived her early years as though she were waiting for something she might, but never did, become.” 121 likes
More quotes…