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A Primer of Haitian Literature in Kreyol

From: Research in African Literatures
Volume 35, Number 2, Summer 2004
pp. 128-140 | 10.1353/ral.2004.0046


The early history of Haitian Kreyòl remains subject to intense debate among linguists, though there is no doubt it was the principal medium through which slave revolts were organized and the foundations of Haitian culture set. By the end of the nineteenth century there were already significant literary texts, in particular Oswald Durand's "Choucoune" and Georges Sylvian's Cric? Crac! During the thirties and forties, proponents of Kreyòl struggled to have it recognized as the national language and standardized. This process did not bear fruit until the IPN (Institut de pédagogie national) orthography became official in the eighties. Beginning in the fifties, there had already been a renaissance of poetry in Kreyòl, the leading figure of which was Feliks Moriso-Lewa. At least two generations of writers have followed in his footsteps. In the person of Franketyèn, Kreyòl has one of the most fascinating contemporary writers in world literature.

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