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AIME CESAlRE 251 A Bibliography of Aim" Cesaire F.1. CASE Thomas A. Hale. Les Ecrits d'Aime Oisaire: Bibliographie commentee Montreal: Les Presses de l'Universite de Montreal 1978 1Etudes franfaises, '4: 3-4 (numero special, octobre 1978), 215-516 As Thomas Hale has mentioned in the introduction to this work, there have been many theses and dissertations and a few books on the literary production of Aime Cesaire. Yet Hale's work is a landmark in Cesaire studies and will remain so for a very long time. Indeed, the bibliography is important not only for students of literature, but also for those interested in political science, philosophyI sociology, and history. The importance of this publication goes far beyond any superficial classification of negritude. There is little doubt that the serious student of the Caribbean, ofAfrica, and of the French administrative and parliamentary systems will find much of deep interest in this bibliography. Through a careful study of the bibliography it is possible to trace the evolution of Cesaire's thought concerning the political and administrative status of Martinique ; his differences of opinion with Leon-Gontran Damas; his battles with the National Assembly and with various ministries over the rights of Martiniquan workers; the reception of his literary and political work in the Soviet Union and elsewhere. The very detailed references to Cesaire's literary work are invaluable since they indicate important modifications and revisions in successive editions. The most disappointing aspect of the bibliography is the brevity of the section dealing with C~saire's resignation from the Communist Party of France. For most students of Cesaire's work this is the period of his life that fills us with greatest curiosity and there is no material mentioned that has not already been seen or heard of. Apart from the well-known Lettre tl Maurice Thorez, Hale merely mentions one article each from France-Soir, L'Aurore, and Justice. Hale has organized his work well. Taking as his model Les Ecrits de Sar!re compiled by Michel Rybalka and Michel Contat, he has used a system that makes it very easy to find detailed bibliographical references to a text and its various editions, versions, and translations, and also to have precise information as to its :ontents. The commentaries are of a very high standard. With significantly few ~xceptions they give ample information on the texts with the greatest economy of words. It is particularly in the commentaries that we see the erudition of Hale, who very often places, say, a speech in the National Assembly or in Fort-derrance , a poem or the contents of an interview within the general framework of ::::~saire's thought and work. The bibliography covers more than forty years of Cesaire's life - from 1935 to (978. This is a crucial period for Martinique, the Caribbean, colonized peoples in ;eneral, and Blacks in particular. The texts cited by Hale illustrate the importance )f Cl!saire in many struggles against colonialism and imperialism; they also UNIVERSITY OF TORONTO QUARTERLY, VOLUME 50, NUMBER 2, WINTER 198011 0042.o()247/81/0100-025I$oo.ooIo (C UNIVERSITY OF TORONTO PRESS 252 F.1. CASE illustrate his importance in the context of the cultural affirmation of Blacks through the medium of the written word. The existence of this excellent bibliographical tool should lead to a more thorough study of Cesaire's work. Researchers studying a number ofimportantissues _ of the period covered by the bibliography and students of the writings and influence of Langston Hughes, Andre Breton, Wilfredo Lam, Kwame Nkrumah, Rene Menil, and many others will find Hale's work a useful point of departure. I look forward to the publication of the two other parts of the bibliography announced by Hale in his introduction. Presumably these willconsist ofa detailed chronology and a list of unpublished works. ...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1712-5278
Print ISSN
0042-0247
Pages
pp. 251-252
Launched on MUSE
2014-07-02
Open Access
N
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