Notebook of a Return to the Native Land

ISBN-10: 0819564524

ISBN-13: 9780819564528

Edition: 2001

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Description: Aime Cesaire's masterpiece, Notebook of a Return to the Native Land, is a work of immense cultural significance and beauty. The long poem was the beginning of Cesaire's quest for negritude, and it became an anthem of Blacks around the world. With its emphasis on unusual juxtapositions of object and metaphor, manipulation of language into puns and neologisms, and rhythm, Cesaire considered his style a "beneficial madness" that could "break into the forbidden" and reach the powerful and overlooked aspects of black culture. Clayton Eshleman and Annette Smith achieve a laudable adaptation of Cesaire's work to English by clarifying double meanings, stretching syntax, and finding equivalent English puns, all while remaining remarkably true to the French text. Their treatment of the poetry is marked with imagination, vigor, and accuracy that will clarify difficulties for those already familiar with French, and make the work accessible to those who are not. Andre Breton's introduction, A Great Black Poet, situates the text and provides a moving tribute to Cesaire. Notebook of a Return to the Native Land is recommended for readers in comparative literature, post-colonial literature, African American studies, poetry, modernism, and French.

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Book details

List price: $17.95
Copyright year: 2001
Publisher: Wesleyan University Press
Publication date: 9/24/2001
Binding: Paperback
Pages: 100
Size: 5.50" wide x 8.25" long x 0.25" tall
Weight: 0.396
Language: English

Poet and politician Aim Csaire was born in Basse-Pointe, Martinique on June 26, 1913. He attended high school and college in France. While in Paris, he helped found the journal Black Student in the 1930s. During World War II, he returned to Martinique and was mayor of Fort-de-France from 1945 to 2001, except for a break from 1983 to 1984. He also served in France's National Assembly from 1946 to 1956 and from 1958 to 1993. In 1946, he helped Martinique shed its colonial status and become an overseas department of France. Some of his best known works include the book Discourse on Colonialism, the essay Negro I Am, Negro I Will Remain, and the poem Notes from a Return to the Native Land. He was being treated for heart problems and other ailments when he died on April 17, 2008.

Aime Cesaire is most well-known as the co-creator (with Leopold Senghor) of the concept of negritude. A member of the Communist party and active supporter of a progressive Socialist movement in his native Martinique, Cesaire wrote Notebook of a Return to the Native Land at the end of World War II. Clayton Eshleman, Professor of English at Eastern Michigan University, has published eleven books of poetry since 1968. He has translated works by Antonin Artaud, Bernard Bador, Michel Deguy, Vladimir Holan, and Pablo Neruda. He is also the foremost American translator of Cesar Vallejo (with Jose Rubia Barcia). Annette Smith, born in Algeria, is an Associate Professor of French at the California Institute of Technology. Eshleman and Smith translated Aime Cesaire: The Collected Poetry (1985).

Andre Breton, poet, novelist, philosophical essayist, and art critic, is considered the father of surrealism. From World War I to the 1940s, Breton was at the forefront of the numerous avant-garde activities that centered in Paris. A prolific producer of pamphlets and manifestoes, he also edited two surrealist periodicals. Breton's influence on the art and literature of the twentieth century has been enormous. Picasso, Derain, Magritte, Giacometti, Cocteau, Eluard, and Gracq are among the many whose work was affected by his thinking. From 1927 to 1933, Breton was a member of the Communist party, but thereafter he opposed communism. At the time of Breton's death in 1966, his novel Nadja (1928), about a young dreamer in love with an ethereal heroine was reaching a new generation of theatre goers.

A Note on Andre Breton
A Great Black Poet
Notebook of a Return to the Native Land
Commentary
Notes
A Cesaire Chronology
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