Abstract

The origins of Aimé Césaire's famous neologism Négritude have long been shrouded in mystery; with many scholars speculating as to whether or not he coined the term before it appeared in his poem Cahier d'un retour au pays natal in 1939. This article examines a previously lost early example of Césaire's writings that predates the Cahier, a 1935 issue of his student magazine L'Etudiant noir, in which the word Négritude appears. Through an examination of Césaire's allusions to the works of Marx and the Marxist thinker Paul Nizan, I argue that, contrary to accepted wisdom, Marxist thought was essential to Césaire's original conception of Négritude. This new discovery suggests that a reevaluation of the relationship of Négritude to both Marxist politics and to newer literary movements, such as Créolité, is in order.

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Additional Information

ISSN
1527-2044
Print ISSN
0034-5210
Pages
pp. 1-14
Launched on MUSE
2013-11-14
Open Access
No
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