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The Original 1939 Notebook of a Return to the Native Land

Bilingual Edition

Aime. Edited Cesaire

Publication Year: 2013

Aime Cesaire's masterpiece, Notebook of a Return to the Native Land, is a work of immense cultural significance and beauty. This long poem was the beginning of Cesaire's quest for negritude, and it became an anthem of Blacks around the world. Commentary on Cesaire's work has often focused on its Cold War and anticolonialist rhetoric--material that Cesaire only added in 1956. The original 1939 version of the poem, given here in French, and in its first English translation, reveals a work that is both spiritual and cultural in structure, tone, and thrust. This Wesleyan edition includes the original illustrations by Wifredo Lam, and an introduction, notes, and chronology by A. James Arnold.

Published by: Wesleyan University Press


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pp. 1-1

Title Page, Copyright, Frontispiece

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pp. 2-9


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pp. ix-x

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pp. xi-xxii

In August 1939 Paris readers of the avant-garde literary magazine Volontés opened issue 20, which they could not know would be its last, to find a long poem by a student who had just left the École Normale Supérieure to return to Martinique. Aimé Césaire’s “Cahier d’un retour au pays natal” (“Notebook of a Return to the Native Land”) was laid out in 109 strophes of mixed prose and verse. ...

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Notebook of a Return to the Native Land

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pp. 1-58

Au bout du petit matin bourgeonnant d’anses frêles les Antilles qui ont faim, les Antilles grêlées de petite vérole, les Antilles dynamitées d’alcool, échouées dans la boue de cette baie, dans la poussière de cette ville sinistrement échouées. ...

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pp. 59-68

The present translation by A. James Arnold and Clayton Eshleman has been realized after careful study of the 1939 French text. It is a substantially new translation based on the one Eshleman did with Annette Smith in the late 1970s, before revising it for Aimé Césaire: The Collected Poetry (1983) and the 2001 Wesleyan University Press edition of Notebook of a Return to the Native Land. ...


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pp. 69-74

E-ISBN-13: 9780819573711
Print-ISBN-13: 9780819573704

Page Count: 120
Publication Year: 2013

Edition: Bilingual French-English ed.

OCLC Number: 840484009
MUSE Marc Record: Download for The Original 1939 Notebook of a Return to the Native Land