Le Chercheur d'or

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The prospector
Author J. M. G. Le Clézio
Original title Le Chercheur d'or
Translator Carol Marks
Country France
Language French translated into English
Genre Novel
Publisher Gallimard, Folio;Paris
English translation: David R. Godine, Publisher
Publication date
Published in English
Media type Print
Pages 352
ISBN 978-0-87923-976-3
OCLC 28798401
843/.914 20
LC Class PQ2672.E25 C4813 1993

Le Chercheur d'or is a novel written in French by French Nobel laureate writer J. M. G. Le Clézio and translated into English as The prospector by Carol Marks and published by David R. Godine, Boston.

Plot introduction[edit]

Alexis L'Estang becomes obsessed with finding the treasure of the legendary Unknown Corsair on the island of Mauritius.

[The] protagonist [of The prospector] searches for buried treasure with a beautiful island girl in an effort both to restore his family’s fortunes and to reclaim his idyllic childhood; this second idyll is interrupted by World War I
- The New York Times notes Le Clézio’s family had ties to Mauritius [1]
For as long as I can remember, I heard the sea
- J. M. G. Le Clézio

The child recalls the sea around the island of Rodrigues in the Indian Ocean. The author situated the plot of this book in the village of Anse aux Anglais.


Taken from the Times Literary Supplement (TLS)[edit]

The present tense seems to be more frequently employed by modern French novelists than by their British or American counterparts; but few contemporary writers can have resorted to it so consistently as Le Clézio.Concomitant with his absorption in a continuous present is an impulse to unrestrained extension.

exclaims the narrator of his latest novel, the Mauritian Alexis L'Estang, resuming his obsessive search for pirate gold in the Indian Ocean on returning from service in the trenches of the First World War.
His story begins in 1892, when he is eight, and spans thirty years; yet despite the dates, the novel is in no sense a historical one, but could be most fittingly described as a fable.
Its characters are of quasi-archetypal simplicity, and they communicate in dialogue of taciturn breviloquence. Apart from the narrator's abiding but tenuous relationship with his sister Laure, the novel's principal human interest centres on his chastely erotic idyll with Ouma, the young native girl or "manaf" he finds on the island of Rodrigues, to which plans left him by his father have led him in search of a hoard of plundered gold concealed there by a legendary corsair.
Ouma is an archetype of the order of W. H. Hudson's Rima, or Rider Haggard's "Nada the Lily"
(referred to early in the book as the heroine of the favourite reading-matter of Alexis and his sister)David Gascoyne( The Times Literary Supplement of October 4, 1985)[2]

From Publishers Weekly[edit]

Reed Business Information, Inc.[3]

Review of Contemporary Fiction[edit]

Susan Ireland wrote this (which was published in the "Review of Contemporary Fiction")[4]

The Washington Post[edit]

Dominic Di Bernardi of The Washington Post wrote :[5]

Translating J.M.G. Le Clézio[edit]

Alison Anderson published this piece in World Literature Today .She is the translator of J. M. G. Le Clézio's 1991 novel Onitsha.[6]

Publication history[edit]

"Journal du chercheur d'or"[edit]

Nouvelle Revue Française[edit]

Title Year Publisher Length Notes
"Journal du chercheur d'or" 1983 Nouvelle Revue Française 361, février: 1–23.
126 pages

"Journal du chercheur d'or."[edit]

Nouvelle Revue Française[edit]

Title Year Publisher Length Notes
"Journal du chercheur d'or." " 1983 Nouvelle Revue Française 368, septembre: 1–21.

"Journal du chercheur d'or"[edit]

Nouvelle Revue Française[edit]

Title Year Publisher Length Notes
"Journal du chercheur d'or" 1983 Nouvelle Revue Française 368, septembre: 1–21

First French Edition[edit]

  • Le Clézio, J. M. G (1985). Le Chercheur d'or (in French). Paris: Gallimard, Folio. p. 375. ISBN 978-2-07-038082-4. 

First English Translated Edition[edit]

  • Le Clézio, J. M. G; translated by Carol Marks (1993). The prospector. Boston,MA, USA: David R. Godine "A Verba mundi original". p. 375. ISBN 978-0-87923-976-3. 

Interview with Daniel E. Pritchard of Godine[edit]

Taken from the Quarterly Conversation Issue 14 [7]

Daniel E. Pritchard:


Daniel E. Pritchard :


  1. ^ Dixler, Elsa (2008-12-26). "THE PROSPECTOR...." Browsing Books By ELSA DIXLER. NYTimes. Retrieved 2008-12-29. 
  2. ^ "Le Chercheur d'or". David Gascoyne. London: The Times Literary Supplemen. 1985-10-04. Retrieved 1 January 2009. 
  3. ^ "The Prospector (The Verba Mundi Books) (The Verba Mundi Books) (Hardcover)". Reed Business Information, Inc. Amazon.com Hom. Retrieved 2009-01-01. 
  4. ^ "The Prospectorby J.M.G. Le Clézio". Susan Ireland,. Review of Contemporary Fiction. 2009-01-01. Retrieved 1 January 2009. 
  5. ^ "Fruits of Paradise". Dominic Di Bernardi. The Washington Post. 1994-01-02. Retrieved 1 January 2009. 
  6. ^ Translating J.M.G. Le Clézio. Alison Anderson "Translating J.M.G. Le Clézio". University of Oklahoma Press (Original from the University of Michigan). 1997. Retrieved 10 March 2011. 
  7. ^ Pritchard, Daniel E. (2008-11-18). "How Does the Nobel Change A Small Press?". Conversational Reading or The Quarterly Conversation. Archived from the original on May 1, 2009. Retrieved 18 November 2008. 

External links[edit]