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Fathers, Daughters, and SlavesWomen Writers and French Colonial Slavery$
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Doris Y. Kadish

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9781846318467

Published to Liverpool Scholarship Online: June 2013

DOI: 10.5949/UPO9781846317828

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date: 21 October 2018

Voices of Daughters and Slaves: Claire de Duras

Voices of Daughters and Slaves: Claire de Duras

(p.103) 4 Voices of Daughters and Slaves: Claire de Duras
Fathers, Daughters, and Slaves
Liverpool University Press

This chapter focuses on Claire de Duras and her novella Ourika, which deals with the subject of race produced in nineteenth-century France. For Duras, fathers shape the structure of attitude and reference of daughters. Her own father, who died during the Terror, had ties to the colonial world and was known for his progressive opinions on slavery. Ourika affirms forms of paternal authority but also resists and defies them. This resistance and defiance are associated with the granting of agency, whereby independent voice, vision, and choice are given to victims of oppression, namely, women and blacks. The chapter compares Ourika to Henriette de La Tour du Pin's Journal d'une femme de cinquante ans and shows the radical difference between them in their treatment of slaves. It concludes by discussing various twentieth-century Caribbean writers who have commented on Duras's depiction of an African, including Daniel Maximin, Aimé Césaire, and Maryse Condé.

Keywords:   Claire de Duras, Ourika, race, France, slaves, slavery, fathers, daughters, Tour du Pin, blacks

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