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Author J. M. G. Le Clézio
Original title Awaité Pawana
Country France
Language French
Genre(s) Short story collection
Publisher Gallimard
Publication date 26 July 1992
Pages 54
ISBN 9782070728060
OCLC Number 27025357

Pawana ( or : Awaité Pawana) is a short story written in French by French author and Nobel laureate J. M. G. Le Clézio.


Historical Basis

According to the author this is a true story, that of the whaler Charles Melville Scammon (1825-1911)[1] .In December 1857 Charles Scammon, in the brig Boston, along with his schooner-tender Marin, entered Laguna Ojo de Liebre (Jack-Rabbit Spring Lagoon) or later known as Scammon's Lagoon (by 1860) and found one of the Gray Whale's last refuges.It is a similar tale to the tale Captain Ahab told in Herman Melville's Moby-Dick which was also told from the deck of a wooden ship which was searching for a white whale.
The tale told in Pawana is about finding a lagoon discovered in Mexico at the end of the century before the last where gray whales went to reproduce.After Captasin Scammon mistakenly deciding to extermionate these whales ,the captain Scammon realized that he had made a mistake so terrible it could beome irreperable,he then sets about dedicating his lifes work to saving these whales ( and gets some help from a Mexican revolutionary in doing so). [2]

Meaning of "Awaité Pawana"

"Awaité Pawana" is the cry uttered by the lookout when he spies the whales.


Araceli, the old Indian slave from Nantucket tells a young cabinboy about the exploits of the Indians of the past through mime and gesture.John, the eighteen- year-old cabin boy and Captain Scammon alternate in recounting a journey.


Georges Lavaudant staged Pawana for the Festival d'Avignon [3]


Read a ten page review of "Awaite Pawana" online [4]

These two narrative voices, which present two contrasting perspectives of the same event, possess a certain theatrical quality

Publication history


First French Edition

Le Clézio, J. M. G (1992) (in French). Awaité Pawana. Paris: Gallimard. pp. 54. ISBN 9782070728060.  

Second French Edition

Le Clézio, J. M. G; Illustrated by Georges Lemoine (1995/1999) (in French). Awaité Pawana. Paris: Gallimard-Jeunesse (1995:Lecture junior, 52;1999 Folio junior, 1001)). pp. 87. ISBN 9782070587773.  

Third French Edition

Le Clézio, J. M. G; Illustrated by Georges Lemoine ;lecture accompagnée par Bruno Doucey (2003) (in French). Awaité Pawana. Paris: Gallimard :La bibliothèque Gallimard. pp. 127/144. ISBN 9782070428427.  

First English Translation

"Awaité Pawana" was translated into English as "Pawana" by Christophe Brunski (AGNI Magazine:published at Boston University 2008)there is a translation available online[5]

External links


  1. ^ [ "Marine Mammals of the Northwestern Coast of North America"]. by Charles Scammon, 1874. 200-12-21. Retrieved 13 January 2009.  
  2. ^ "RÉSUMÉ :" (in french). Retrieved 13 January 2009. ""C'est une histoire authentique, celle d'un baleinier, Charles-Melville Scammon, précise Le Clézio. Cet homme aussi fabuleux et légendaire que le capitaine Achab, de Moby Dick de Melville, après avoir découvert au Mexique à la fin du siècle dernier une lagune où se reproduisaient les baleines grises, décida de les exterminer..." Puis, se rendant compte qu'il commettait une erreur irréparable, il consacra sa vie leur sauvegarde, aidé par les révolutionnaires mexicains."  
  3. ^ Lavaudant, Georges (1992-07-26). "Pawana Theatre;Festival d'Avignon in July 1992". TNP-Villeurbanne. Retrieved 2008-11-14. "Georges Lavaudant staged Pawana for the Festival d'Avignon"  
  4. ^ Thibault, Bruno (1997/2008). ""Awaité Pawana": J. M. G. Le Clézio's Vision of the Sacred". Journal Article:, Cengage Learning ,2008 Gale. University of Oklahoma /World Literature Today. Retrieved 2008-11-20. "These two narrative voices, which present two contrasting perspectives of the same event, possess a certain theatrical quality."  
  5. ^ Brunski, Christophe (2008). "Pawana by J. M. G. Le Clézio translated from the French". AGNI Magazine : published at Boston University. Retrieved 2008-11-10.  


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