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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Jan 09, Sveta rated it it was amazing. She was displeased when Mme. 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: Ouirka from being the longest thing I’ve ever read in French god, that’s pathetic. Aug 12, Liralen rated it really liked it Shelves: Paperback47 pages.

Ourika by duchesse de Claire de Durfort Duras

This page was last edited on 10 Octoberat 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. The mere fact that Duras wrote this book xuras after the French Revolution is kind of ourikq, 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.

And yet, Claire de Duras uses her own French-born privilege to tell Ourika’s story, in essence giving voice to a woman who otherwise could not. It is likely she has not been well read because her choice and treatment of subject could not be appreciated until recently; she was ahead of her time. But you can’t judge a book Nov 28, Laura marked it as to-read Recommended to Laura by: Ourika by Claire de Duras.

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Though its theme of race, society, and unrequited love is interesting, and it stands as one of the earliest abolitionist pieces where a “white person tried to present a black person’s thoughts”, the extremely short story itself has not much else to recommend.

Claire de Duras – Wikipedia

Title page from the second edition of Ourika Follow Us on Facebook. From this point on, Ourika lives her life not as a French woman but as a black woman “cut off from the entire human race.

Published discreetly and read by only 40 or Parisian women at first, it soon became a widespread success in France. John Fowles provides a beautiful translation that is concise, yet still fully captures the torment of Ourika.

From a Rousseauian point of view, duraa has been seen as a clever ploy aimed at seducing men of letters who were easily distracted from their all important men’s business.

Her health worsened, and she nearly died.

Ourika by duchesse de Claire de Durfort Duras – Free Ebook

Do identity politics, starting with pointing out differences, help or harm? 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 a black woman adopted by a French family, living through the Reign ourkka Terror in France as she discovers her own difference. The three novellas that she did publish were only ourioa so in order to prevent any possible plagiarism.

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. While Ourika lacks serious literary merit, its author had psychological insights far in advance of her contemporaries.


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.

The most well-known of these is Claire de Duras ‘s novel of the same name. Duras succinctly and compellingly enters the mind of her protagonist, a character who’s fate seems to resemble the autho Short but not sweet, Ourika is named for its protagonist.

From the posture of a carefree child prodigy attracting the favour of French nobilities, she finds herself in the position of a lonely young woman with no escape from her privileged yet wretched existence.

Brought up in a household of ouika and privilege, she is unaware of her difference until she overhears a conversation that makes her suddenly conscious of her race – and of the prejudice it arouses. While Ourika prayed ourija die, the marquise visited her to learn her sorrows, but after she insisted that Ourika’s grief was the result of a secret, doomed passion for Charles, Ourika’s despair increased as she wondered if the marquise was right.

Claire de Duras

Yet, beside this all to common fact of life, this novel is also telling a far more uplifting story, one that debunks some deeply ingrained stereotypes that have ourikka social ordinance. Jul 22, Craig Werner rated it it was ok Shelves: In holding with these subjects, tragedy is a common theme. Based on a true story, Ourika relates the experiences of a Senegalese girl who is rescued from slavery and raised by an aristocratic French family during the French Revolution.