Caribbean literature in French: Origins and development

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


Caribbean literature in French is the symbolic, imaginative expression of the peoples of the French-speaking regions of the Caribbean, including Haiti, Guadeloupe, Martinique, French Guyana, and their dependencies. This chapter presents francophone Caribbean literature in reference to three dimensions of the problem of totality. They are the symbolic production and critique of Antillean spatial totalities, the symbolic production and critique of Antillean identity, and the production and critique of esthetic totalities. The instrumentalization of French Caribbean space first announced in Columbus's letters is the principal characteristic of early Caribbean writing in French. The literary construction of a francophone Caribbean identity received its most famous and controversial articulation in the Negritude movement, founded in Paris by Aimé Césaire. Francophone Caribbean esthetic objects offer models of noninstrumentalized subject, object relations in a world that has been marked by what must surely count among the most dehumanizing and exploitative of all historical processes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationThe Cambridge History of African and Caribbean Literature
PublisherCambridge University Press
Number of pages27
ISBN (Electronic)9780521832762
ISBN (Print)0521832764, 9781139054645
StatePublished - Jan 1 2004

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Social Sciences


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