Marc Elsberg
3 de Setembro de 2019.
Delegação portuguesa no CERN
6 de Setembro de 2019.
Marguerite Duras and her book “ Le Ravissement de Lol V. Stein”

Marguerite Duras was born in 1914 in Gia Dinh next to Saigon in the French Indochina. She is a writer, novelist, playwright, and essayist. She became famous in 1950 with the book “The Sea Wall” (Un barrage contre le Pacifique). This book is largely inspired by the life and adolescence of Marguerite Duras in the French Indochina. After this first success, she will publish many new novels. Her style is close to the New Roman, with strange sentences construction, deconstructed characters, storyline, and timeline. The main topics are the wait, love, sensuality, and alcohol. In 1984 she published another great success “The lover” (L’Amant) an auto-fiction about her sexual experiment and first love in Indochina. 2 400 000 units of this book were sold by 2011.  She also wrote for theatre and for movies, in 1959 she wrote the screenplay and dialogues for the movie “Hiroshima mon amour” by Alain Resnais, she was nominated for the Oscar of the best screenplay.

The book I’m going to speak now, “Le ravissement de Lol V.Stein” was published in 1964 is one of the most famous of her books. The story is about Lola Valerie Stein, a woman born and raised in South Tahla in a bourgeois family and is engaged to Michael Richardson at 19. However, at a ball in the seaside resort of Town Beach, Michael Richardson leaves Lol for Anne-Marie Stretter, an older woman. After a difficult recovery from this shock, Lol marries John Bedford, a musician she meets on one of her daily walks. Lol leaves South Tahla with her husband. A few years after Lol has three children, no fantasy at all, lives in the house she grew up, and she meets one of her old friends, Tatiana Karl. The whole story turned around, the first shock of the girl getting rejected for another, a shock that will impact her whole life, a shock that she tried to hide to her husband. The novel is seen through the eyes of Jacques Hold the lover of Tatiana Karl who tried to know more about Lol, making hypotheses. The novel itself is quite disturbing the first time, the style of the writing is erratic, without continuity, like a dream that you tried to remember in the morning.

I choose this book because I read it in High School, I was 16-17 years old, and I studied it. For me, it was the first time I read something like this, strange but captivating. Odd at the beginning, I learned to love it and understand it. This book is, in my opinion, one of the best books to understand and discover the style of Marguerite Duras, a style strongly attached to the way she was, her health problem, alcohol problem also. You will love it or hate it “Le Ravissement de Lol V.Stein” does not allow for many choices. A must read to discover a part of the contemporary French literature.

Text written in April 2019.

Short bio of the volunteer:

Léo Cherel, a volunteer from France.


Erasmus+ is a programme of the European Commission embracing the fields of education, training, youth and sports during the period 2014-2020. One of the major aspects is the cooperation between the different fields where the programme acts, hence contributing for a diverse and rich Europe.

Amongst the several goals of the programme, the following are prioritised: the objectives of the Europe 2020 Strategy, including the headline education target; the aims of the strategic framework for European cooperation in education and training (ET 2020), including the corresponding benchmarks; the sustainable development of Partner Countries in the field of higher education; the overall goals of the renewed framework for European cooperation in the youth field (2010-2018); the objective of developing the European dimension in sport, in particular grassroots sport, in line with the EU work plan for sport and the promotion of European values in accordance with Article 2 of the Treaty on the European Union.

In order to achieve these goals, the Erasmus+ has several action policies. The Key Action 1 (KA1) is directed towards the mobility of people; Key Action 2 (KA2) for the cooperation for innovation and the interchange of good experiences; and Key Action 3 (KA3) which is for the support of reformation policies.

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Since 1991 the University of Madeira Students’ Union has developed a wide incentive policy for voluntary work. In 2013 the Students’ Union started the process to receive, send and coordinate Erasmus+ projects of the European Voluntary Service, in order to have a larger influence in the volunteering field. The Union received its first volunteer withing the ambit of a KA1 project in 2014. Many efforts have been done to allow young people from Madeira to take part in several initiatives in Europe, as well as propose several projects allowing young people from several countries to work in the projects of the Students’ Union of the University of Madeira. The main goal of the voluntary work is the contribution of the volunteers to the communities and places they will be staying, being their work not rewarded with payment.

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Since 2013, the University of Madeira Students’ Union has received volunteers that have collaborated in several activities and initiatives. Besides being able to enjoy a wonderful experience which will contribute to their personal and professional growth, they are able to contribute in a unique way to the community in which they are inserted and to join dozens of volunteers from the University of Madeira.