Aime cesaire return to my native land

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aime cesaire return to my native land

Notebook of a Return to the Native Land by Aime Cesaire

Aime Cesaires masterpiece, Notebook of a Return to the Native Land, is a work of immense cultural significance and beauty. The long poem was the beginning of Cesaires quest for negritude, and it became an anthem of Blacks around the world. With its emphasis on unusual juxtapositions of object and metaphor, manipulation of language into puns and neologisms, and rhythm, Cesaire considered his style a beneficial madness that could break into the forbidden and reach the powerful and overlooked aspects of black culture.

Clayton Eshleman and Annette Smith achieve a laudable adaptation of Cesaires work to English by clarifying double meanings, stretching syntax, and finding equivalent English puns, all while remaining remarkably true to the French text. Their treatment of the poetry is marked with imagination, vigor, and accuracy that will clarify difficulties for those already familiar with French, and make the work accessible to those who are not. Andre Bretons introduction, A Great Black Poet, situates the text and provides a moving tribute to C saire.

Notebook of a Return to the Native Land is recommended for readers in comparative literature, post-colonial literature, African American studies, poetry, modernism, and French.
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Published 20.04.2019

Aime Cesaire Centennial

Notebook of a Return to the Native Land [excerpt]

The translators convey the spirit of improvisation, yet, with a deftness of image and music, they deliver this book-length poem as a seamless work of art—an existential cry against a man-made void. Want a discount? Become a member by purchasing Memberships! An unforgettable work of imagination, realism and surrealism, the Cahier is one of the most powerful, inspiring and beautiful poems ever written Aime Cesaire's long poem is evocative and thoughtful, touching on human aspiration far beyond the scale of its specific concerns with Cesaire's native land - Martinique.

And in this inert town, this squalling throng so astonishingly detoured from its cry like this town from its movement, from its meaning, not even worried, detoured from its true cry, the only cry one would have wanted to hear because it alone feels at home in this town; because one feels that it inhabits some deep refuge of shadow and of pride, in this inert town, this throng detoured from its cry of hunger, of poverty, of revolt, of hatred, this throng so strangely chattering and mute. This throng that does not know how to throng, this throng, one realizes, so perfectly alone under the sun, like a woman one thought completely occupied with the lyric cadence of her buttocks, who abruptly challenges a hypothetical rain and enjoins it not to fall; or like a rapid sign of the cross without perceptible motive; or like the sudden grave animality of a peasant, urinating standing, her legs parted, stiff. Not with Josephine, Empress of the French, dreaming way up there above the nigger scum. Nor with the liberator fixed in his whitewashed stone liberation. Nor with the conquistador. Nor with this contempt, nor with this freedom, nor with this audacity. Right here the parade of laughable and scrofulous buboes, the forced feeding of very strange microbes, the poisons without known alexins, the sanies of really ancient sores, the unforeseeable fermentations of putrescible species.

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Aime Cesaire's epic poem "Notebook of a Return to the Native Land" can be difficult to decipher due to Cesaire's unusual usage of metaphor, language, and poetic rhythm. Negritude came to become a central tenet of the civil rights movement in the United States, as well as the "Black is Beautiful" cultural movement in both North and South America. Cesaire was not only the creator of the negritude movement, but a prominent politician and public figure, a member of the surrealist movement, and one of the most revered French-Caribbean writers of all time. Aime Cesaire grew up in Martinique, one of the French Caribbean islands, before leaving for Paris to continue his studies. During the time that Cesaire grew up in the islands, African identity was something largely absent from both literature and everyday lexicon.

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