restricted access Writing Home: Comparative Black Modernism and Form in Jean Toomer and Aime Cesaire

Following a brief discussion of the critical genealogy of "modernity" and "modernism" vis-a-vis African American and Caribbean literature, this essay explores how Jean Toomer and Aimé Césaire use modernist forms to recreate and reclaim "home" in Cane (1923) and Cahier d'un retour au pays natal (Notebook of a Return to My Native Land; 1939), respectively. Although the two authors did not meet in interwar Paris, the resonance between their work demonstrates that the fruits of transatlantic artistic exchange between African diasporic writers stem not only from actual moments of encounter, but also from the circulation of ideas.