Abstract

Much of the criticism on Aimé Césaire's Cahier d'un retour au pays natal focuses on the poem's linguistic innovation, especially its use of neologism. This paper considers the poem's syntax, its unusual and sometimes disorienting ways of organizing the links between sentence elements and between individual poetic lines. In this regard, the Cahier's recourse to anaphora is one of its features that has had the most influence on the work of other African diasporic writers. Looking in detail at the function of anaphora in the poem, especially in the crucial lines defining the term négritude, I suggest that Césaire's use of formal repetition is related both to his translation of a poem by Sterling Brown, and to his reading of Hegel's concept of "negative determination." I then read the ways a Césairean poetics of anaphora is appropriated, translated, and revised by other New World black writers, including Edward Kamau Brathwaite, C. L. R. James, and Will Alexander.

pdf

Additional Information

ISSN
1527-2044
Print ISSN
0034-5210
Pages
pp. 1-18
Launched on MUSE
2005-04-28
Open Access
No
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.