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Book Review Jams Pallister. A im e C é sa ir e . Boston: Twayne Publishers/G. K. Hall & Co., 1991. Janis Pallister’s critique of Césaire’s work, Aimé Césaire, covers a period of over 56 years of negritude writings. Pallister’s study explores the following areas of Césaire’s writings: 1) the revolutionary complex and hermetic aspects of imagery in Césaire’s sur­ realist poetry; 2) Césaire’s plays as proclaimers of revolts among colonized blacks in their struggle for liberation; and 3) Césaire’s essays as weapons against colonization, racism and paternalism. Pallister also thinks that his essays elaborate on the idea of revolution in the above context by exploring the nature of the black martyr as proclaimer of the abuse of fascist politics and western capitalism. In this context, Pallister concedes that Cahier d ’un retour au pays natal is a product of Césaire’s long meditation on the fact of being black and on the condition of the black race in the world. While in “ Le Grand Midi” Pallister refers to Arnold, who believes that Césaire is here rejecting the God of the Christians and shifts to a modernist version of the Earth Mother. Pallister underlines the strong polarization that Césaire introduces through the contrasting figure of Lumumba and Mobutu in her study of Césaire’s Une saison au Congo. The book can be said to be circular in its organization. The first and second parts posit and describe the use of the term “ negritude.” The third part describes the code of behavior of the European rationalists. For example, Part I deals with Césaire’s negritude poetry. Part II studies Césaire’s negritude plays. Finally, Pallister discusses Césaire’s essays in Part III. Chapter 7 discusses the themes of anti-colonialism, decolonization and revolution that she said were seen in his poems and plays. In sum, Pallister’s book is very interesting and well documented. It is also flawed in that it is unnecessarily long, its style often tendentious and repetitious, and the frequency and length of the quotations (in French translated into English) excessive. These quotations could have been shortened, translated in the endnotes, or better still, paraphrased in many instances. Nevertheless, even though Pallister’s commentary is minimum, one who does not know Césaire’s work can in summary form have an appreciation of it since Pallister sum­ marizes more than comments. See, for example, La Tragedie du roi Christophe. Despite its flaws, Pallister’s book is a genuine contribution to Negritude scholarship and is well worth reading. S y lvian e T o w n sel State University o f New York at Oswego Bernadette Cailler. Co n q u ér a n ts d e la n u it n u e : E d o u a r d G lissa n t e t l ’H(H)isto ir e a n t il la ise . Tübingen: Gunter Narr Verlag, 1988. Pp. 180. Scholars of Antillean literature already know Bernadette Cailler for her meticulous analysis of the Césaire corpus. She has now turned her attention to Edouard Glissant, his putative heir. Conquérants de la nuit nue: Edouard Glissant et l’H(h)istoire antillaise, her second book on Caribbean writers, is not for browsing idly through on a lazy afternoon. It requires the same attention to non-linear discursivity that Glissant demands of his own readers. Such patience is amply rewarded, for Conquérants is shot through with brilliant insights. Upending the standard interpretation of Glissant’s famous Negator, Cailler pro­ poses a reading paradigm for emergent literatures. 108 Sp r in g 1992 C ailler Her approach is to delineate the solid ideological grid that binds the more creative writ­ ings, particularly the novels, to his “ more theoretical” essays; she rightly considers L ’Intention poétique Glissant’s seminal launching toward his own idiosyncratic “ ideo­ logical horizon,” to use Gadamer’s categories. Her close textual reading opens the corpus further by reintroducing the historical dimension into what could have remained a selfcontained formalist reading. The Caribbean discourse is haunted by the question of history. What...


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