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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This page was last edited on 16 Septemberat Apparently, Mme de Duras not to be confused with Marguerite was known for the salons she held in Paris. Looking at her was an everlasting pleasure: The novella covers the time before, during, and after the French Revolution and addresses key themes of racenationalityexileinterracial love and kinship and the psychological adjustment to these. For a long time she was seen as the writer of small and unimportant sentimental novels, but recent criticism has revealed her works to be treasure troves of postmodern identity theory.

Ourika is raised as an upperclass Frenchwoman, and is completely unaware that her race is a problem until she overhears Madame de B discussing her marriage prospects. I learned English and Italian, and Mme de B. After the parish priest heard Ourika’s final confession, he assured her that she was not guilty of improperly loving Charles, but she has sinned by being unhappy and not recognizing God’s purpose for her life. Djras I talked with her and discovered the treasures of her mind, I felt my durqs exalted.

Ourika is an novel by Claire de Durasoriginally published anonymously. Reading Ourika and Saleh: 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. Free download in French is available at Project Gutenberg.

And, maybe more than anything, what insight is there to gain from a white noblewoman writing from the point of view of a black African girl, a setup that screams Cultural Appropriation today? View the Study Pack.


Ourika by duchesse de Claire de Durfort Duras

Dyras He Said, She Said: Furthermore, she does not satisfy herself with common stereotypes about Africa, but makes genuine efforts to find out relevant information about Ourika’s country: The subsequent shift from slavery to 19th century colonial exploitation and the pseudo-scientific theories developed on “the inequality of human races” only pushed dissenting voices, such as Mme de Duras’, further towards total oblivion.

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For the Moroccan town and commune, see Ourika, Morocco. Why wasn’t it ended on the slaver from which she had been snatched — or at her mother’s breast?

In an interesting and even riskier twist particularly due to the French Revolution’s fervent and obsessive desire to destroy anything resembling a higher power Ourika finally finds peace in belief in a universal, divine God. It iurika an important movement from traditional notions of race, nationality, and kinship towards the identity politics of today.

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 This was assigned reading in high school, and I happened across it again in a bookstore.

She was displeased when Mme. Retrieved from ” https: I wrote more about Ourika on Dead Men Blogging.

Claire de Duras – Wikipedia

Do identity politics, starting with pointing out differences, help or harm? Finally, finally, I successfully purchased a copy of Ourika. Ourika by Claire de Duras is a fictional novel based on a true story about a young slave girl from Senegal who is raised and protected by a wealthy Ourikq family shortly before the French Revolution.

From a Rousseauian point of view, it has been seen as a clever ploy aimed at seducing men of letters who were easily distracted from their all important men’s business. After the nun finishes her story, the doctor continues to visit, but her remedies prove vain when Ourika dies at the end of October.

Ourika: An English Translation Summary & Study Guide

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. I will just say that Duras’ diction seems purposefully vague. Only one of the libraries in my area has a copy and 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.


But unfortunately, doing the right thing according to one’s conscience or inclination does not mean doing so in the eyes of society. Ourika grows up oblivious to being black and sees herself first and foremost: Duras’ story-within-a-story is well-written and poignant, and her character’s experience in the Reign of Terror provides an interesting thought experiment.

Ourika: An English Translation Summary & Study Guide

View all 8 comments. Granted, the author is wealthy and white, but, given the time period, that makes her ability to relate to an African woman that much more impressive. The juxtaposition of Ourika’s bleak situation in the Polite World and the bloody backdrop of the French Revolution is fascinating.

She is raised well, according to the standards for white Parisian girls of high society-she is taught to sing by the best voice coaches, instructed in oudika by a famous artist, is well-read and is accomplished in many languages.

Ourika is a black woman adopted by a French family, living through the Reign of Terror in France as she discovers her own difference. December Learn how and when to remove this template message. Chevalier rescued Ourika from a slaver in Senegal when djras was two years old and gave her to his aunt, Mme. 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.

Yet Ourikx comes to discover and despair over just this: Her interest in the idea of emancipating dugas Negroes only made her ashamed to belong to a race of barbarous murderers after the massacres at Santo Domingo.

Eventually, she chose to become a nun because it was the only alternative she believed would not remove her from the rest of the world.

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