This article considers the ways in which Claire de Duras (1777-1828) rewrites the Pygmalion story in her novella Ourika, privileging now the feminine, African voice of she who is created. In this fictional account of an historical person, de Duras uses an ovidian grid to explore internalized racism as demonstrated by the person of Ourika, a Senegalese child saved from slavery and raised in a French aristocratic family. Ourika's love for her benefactress's grandson, her "passion criminelle," leads to the accusation of "incest," which serves as a mask for miscegenation. The latter is considered against the backdrop of the Code Noir and race relations in colonial France. This intertextual analysis traces Ourika's de-animation: contrary to Pygmalion's statue who evolves from stone to flesh, Ourika seeks refuge among stone ruins. (LMR)


Additional Information

Print ISSN
pp. 207-222
Launched on MUSE
Open Access
Back To Top

This website uses cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. Without cookies your experience may not be seamless.