Ourania (novel)

Ourania (novel)
Author(s) J. M. G. Le Clézio
Original title Ourania
Country France
Language French
Genre(s) Novel
Publisher Gallimard,« collection "Blanche" et "Folio"»
Publication date 2006
Pages 297
ISBN 978-2-07-077703-7
OCLC Number 63693191
LC Classification PQ2672.E25 O87 2006

Ourania is the title of a novel written in French by French author and Nobel laureate J. M. G. Le Clézio .


Plot summary

Le Clézio lived for fifteen years in a small village in Mexico called Valle de Bravo. Children invented an imaginary country and ideal, Ourania, and this book describes a near-Utopian society in Mexico. Two types of Utopias are compared to each other: a modest Utopia from the Jesuits and the other an ideal city called Santa Fe de la Laguna. The book mentions the transhumant movement Rainbows (1970–1980) and the Salvadoran revolution and its leader, Monsignor Romero. Failure was inevitable. Dreams are necessessary, even if reality isn't.[1]


Le Clezio's new novel, Ourania, is partly set in a Utopian community on the Pacific coast of Mexico. The "republic" of Campos was set up in the 1980s in an abandoned Jesuit seminary. We learn about it through one of its inhabitants, Raphael, a sixteen-year-old Inuit and the son of an alcoholic father; the children don't attend formal school: instead, they spend mornings working the land and afternoons in study and "dialogue"; they receive sex education, without being encouraged to practise it themselves; organized religion is frowned on and the exchange of money forbidden. Many of the children in Campos have been abandoned by their parents-taken from the TLS [2] of April 21, 2006


The book won the “annual best foreign novels in 21 century” by the People’s Literature Publishing House (PLPH) January 28, 2007.[3]

Publication history

  • Le Clézio, J. M. G (2006) (in French). Paris: Gallimard,« collection "Blanche" et "Folio"». pp. 297. ISBN 978-2-07-077703-7. 
  • Le Clézio, J. M. G (2008) (in Spanish). Buenos Aires: El Cuenco de Plata,. pp. 272. ISBN 978-987-1228-37-9. 


  1. ^ "Mot de l'éditeur sur "Ourania"" (in French). /livre.fnac.com. 2008. http://livre.fnac.com/a1774558/Jean-Marie-Gustave-Le-Clezio-Ourania. Retrieved 2008-11-18. ""Enfant, comme bien d’autres enfants, J.M.G. Le Clézio s’était inventé un pays imaginaire et idéal : Ourania."" 
  2. ^ "A Frenchman and a geographer". Adrian Tahourdin. The Times Literary Supplement. 2006-04-21. http://entertainment.timesonline.co.uk/tol/arts_and_entertainment/the_tls/article709674.ece. Retrieved 14 January 2009. 
  3. ^ "French Nobel winner and his Ourania". beijing today. 2007-11-08. http://bjtoday.ynet.com/article.jsp?oid=45667034. Retrieved 2008-11-18. ""The book also won the “annual best foreign novels in 21 century” by the People’s Literature Publishing House (PLPH)“January 28, Le Clezio came to Beijing to release Ourania and accept the award."" 

Brief Introduction

Ourania originates from Greek mythology and first meant the muse of astronomy which was extended to the meaning of the heavenly world.This book describes a near-Utopian society in the name of Campos in Mexico.People here are vagrants from other corners of the world.All partners are equal regardless of age , social status and wealth class.Campos is a place which is abundant in the differences of nation,language,lifestyle and culture.Here,knowledge is used to forget.Camposers never study by books,they are just exposed to the world to feel freedom and truth. In contrast to the reality which is full of clash of civilizations, racial discrimination and language struggle,Campos is like real heaven's reflection on the ground.It's a utopian life state that is put by Le Clézio in the novel.

From scientists who fight for rights in the research laboratory to hookers and children who are oppressed ,author told aggrievedly that in some corners of the world,there's no place for goodness and ugly lifes live happily.The sentence "We don't know both day and time"appears for four times in the novel and even be the title of the last chapter.Like in the form of the echo, it speaks out people's confusion at time. Just in this case, the novel shows an unknown ending for Campos.Under the leadership of new leader Odi,Camposers go to new lands and life which shows a strong faith to future. Although the real world is harsh and the future is unknown,people still keep hope for the life.Because as is known to all who had seen the brightness,the day is determined to break.

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