French author Claire de Duras’s novel Ourika (), originally published anonymously, centers around the true story of a woman who was purchased as a . Project Gutenberg · 58, free ebooks · 3 by duchesse de Claire de Durfort Duras. Ourika by duchesse de Claire de Durfort Duras. No cover. The Project Gutenberg EBook of Ourika, by Claire Duras This eBook is for the use of anyone anywhere in the United States and most other parts of the world at .

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At age 2, she was brought from Senegal to France by a colonial governor who plucked her off of a slave boat after he saw her mother had died. Preview — Ourika by Claire de Duras. Despite not being the best of literature, I enjoyed Mme de Duras story from a historical standpoint, and am glad that I included it in my women’s history month lineup. Set against the backdrop of the French and Haitian revolutions, the Terror, and the restoration and featuring the first black woman narrator in French literature, Ourika raises issues of identity, inequality, exclusion, power, and race and gender relations.

After a series of frustrating phone calls asking that a company actually send me items I paid for does not make me difficultI canceled the order.

Madame de DURAS – Ourika

In his journal, the Chevalier de Boufflers wrote of the purchase of the slave girl whose life would later be documented in Duras’ novella: The star is for the publisher’s edition: Please see for yourself; it doesn’t take long, and you’ll be stunned. Pretty much all that needs to be said. To imagine that Ourika is a simply a tale about a woman who is distraught over a man is to severely misread the richness of this novel, which offers a complex regard of race, blackness, womanhood, identity, and intercultural acceptance.

Paperback47 pages. She is a good tempered and gifted individual and she wants her to look her best, to behave like a genuine aristocrat and to assume her African origins. Duras succinctly and compellingly enters the mind of her protagonist, a character who’s fate seems to resemble the author’s in no way. Minus two forewords, which I recommend reading afterit clocks in at just 45 pages.


Ourika by duchesse de Claire de Durfort Duras

This remarkable scene is telling of the novel’s main premise: In holding with these subjects, tragedy is a common theme. Ourika is a black woman adopted by a French family, living through the Reign of Terror in France as she discovers her own difference. It is likely she has not been well read because her choice and treatment of subject could not udras appreciated until recently; she was ahead of her time. The book never arrived. She is stricken with despair upon realizing that, despite her intelligence and numerous talents, her race ensures that she will have no future, and this despair ultimately takes her life.

When I talked with her and discovered the treasures of her mind, I felt my own exalted. But why had that same God duraa poor Ourika life? The mere fact that Duras wrote this book right after the French Revolution is kind of amazing, AND it’s based on real events.

With it begins a continued recognition of negation that accompanies alientation–in addition to not-French, she is not-daughter, not-wife, not-mother, etc. But you can’t judge a book Overall, the most profound element lies in the main character’s inability to cope with a quagmire that plagued many of minority persons of the period She maintained a famous literary salon in post-Revolutionary Paris and was the close friend of Chateaubriandwho she had met while in exile in Londonand who helped her to publish her books.

This page was last edited on 16 Septemberat Set against the backdrop of the Revolution, she could have done so much more with the material.

Interesting treatments of the French revolution background but significantwomen’s positions in aristocratic society and a unique version of double or triple consciousness. A few male contemporaries attempted to use Mme de Duras’ name as an attempt to have their own works published. I say “limited respect” because white French peopl This brief, bittersweet novel was a courageous pheonmenon in France ourija the s.

French Literature from the Middle Ages to Ourika is the name of this short novel’s eponymous heroine, a young Senegalese slave woman who is rescued oruika s life of drudgery and brought up by a French noblewoman around the time of the Terror.

Claire de Duras

The astonishing bit is the prescience on what today is taught in Gender and Identity Studies, and uncanny observations that seamlessly fit our social media landscape. Jul 22, Craig Werner rated it it was ok Shelves: MLA Texts and Translations. It is the first French text to depict a black woman character with a complex psychology. The first known novel to talk about life from the perspective of a negro woman, “Ourika” explores the French society through its most tumultuous times: Subsequently she received the best possible education a girl could get at the time, thus becoming the first major African-American female intellectual.


Ourikq are basically, in today’s parlance, a personal essay you might find on Medium. She guided my intellect and formed my judgment.

Ourika’s development throughout the novel is a remarkable one; though in some instances she resigns herself to utter despondency, she ultimately comes to realize the advantage knowledge has over ignorance: Apparently this is the first European story with a black protagonist. Duras’s story is based on a few bare bones of historical facts, and was committed reluctantly [ citation needed ] to the page by Claire de Duras.

To her, Ourika is not a “Noble savage”. Why wasn’t it ended on the slaver from which she had been snatched — or at her mother’s breast? Do orika politics, starting with pointing out differences, help or harm? I was told that I was an angel. dkras

Growing up in Mme de B’s household, Ourika became accomplished at art, music, and other subjects that her mistress believed were important to a young girl’s future. Furthermore, she does not satisfy herself with common stereotypes about Africa, but makes genuine durzs to find out relevant information about Ourika’s country: For example, Jean-Jacques Rousseau took great exception to the ascendency of women in French intellectual life.

Ourika by duchesse de Claire de Durfort Duras – Free Ebook

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Ourika was published as far away as St Petersburg, and enjoyed a wide readership. Only one of the libraries in my area has a copy furas it resides in their special collections section, making it restricted from leaving the library building or being checked out beyond a few hours at a time.

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