André Breton called Césaire’s Cahier ‘nothing less than the greatest lyrical Notebook of a Return to My Native Land () is the foundation stone of. Aime Cesaire’s epic poem “Notebook of a Return to the Native Land” can be difficult to decipher due to Cesaire’s unusual usage of metaphor. This is one of the classic texts of the Négritude movement, which valorized black culture and identity. In this part of the long poem, Césaire, who is Martinican.

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The long poem was the beginning of Cesaire’s quest for negritude, and it became an anthem of Blacks around the world. Yet another super short classic that translators and editors and introduction writers did their best to ruin. His literary style is classified as negritude a rejection of colonial racism and a term developed by Cesaire.

And negritude, more than just a feeling of pride in the color of one’s skin, or in one’s origins, is to be found within this process of self-and cultural discovery. The alexandrine is so culturally ingrained that the French ear picks it up unselfconsciously.

He was a gangly nigger without rhythm or measure. Life is not a spectacle.

Published September 24th by Wesleyan first published At the end of daybreak, this town sprawled-flat, toppled from its common sense, inert, winded under its geometric weight of an ecsaire renewed cross, indocile to its fate, mute, vexed no matter what, incapable of growing with the juice of this earth, self-conscious, clipped, reduced, in breach of fauna and flora.

Sep 09, Diane rated it really liked it Shelves: I would say tree. Refresh and try again. The only thing in the world that’s worth beginning: It’s also a war cry coming from the heart, and Cesaire’s choice of weapon are words.

View all 4 comments. The central metaphor of “Notebook” is that of trying on masks.

Notebook of a Return to the Native Land [excerpt]

Dec 11, D. The poetic text is often violent and revealing and he uses a variety of different methods to shock and disturb the reader.


The narrator does not only refute the narratives invented by colonialism about his native land, he also strives to rewrite his own version of History: It is the story of a colour and of an island. Definitely a surrealistic sort of book. At the end of the small hours: 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.

The enlightened act of freeing the slaves was not followed up with rfturn of liberty, equality, and fraternity.

Notebook of a Return to the Native Land by Aimé Césaire

It certainly helps making the text more approachable. The have become complacent, to poverty, to colonialism, to self-loathing. Could it be because Martinique remained with the France as its protectorate position? Returning to one’s native land after spending years abroad, it is only natural to wonder about the apathy of the locals, especially with the new knowledge and experiences one norebook gained abroad.

I would say river. So much better to be a person who doesn’t kill and maim and insult people than to be a “successful” “winner” who turns human beings into chattel.

Jul 11, Kirby rated it it was amazing. Beat it, I said to him, you cop, you lousy pig, beat it, I detest the flunkies of order and the cockchafers of hope. Paperback returh, 66 pages.

The narrator of the Notebook does not marvel at the exotic West Indian cuisine.

No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. I’d forgotten so many details about this poem. It is a dream inside a nightmare, a poem in which the very language is breaking the shackles of colonization, a triumphant release from the strangling grammars of oppression: It’s interesting to read his blunt language against or alongside the more familiar evocations of that landscape by Anglophone poets such as Derek Walcott: Jul 16, Jonathan rated it really liked it Shelves: We have been reading Cesair La tragedie de Roi Christophe thus this was a very interesting followup, I look forward to more.


The Khaya Senegalensis, a tall tree of Senegambia, resembling the mahogany. The content will sucker punch you. It still relies heavily on French aid. Communism, as an ideal, took root in these environments. I fucking cannot stand it when some white dingbat piece of shit goes on Fox News and starts talking about the glory of the white race, and how– and this point is ALWAYS implied, even if it’s not stated outright– no race group can compare to what white people have “accomplished.

Haiti where negritude rose to its feet for the first time and said it believed in its own humanity; and the comic little tail of Florida where they are just finishing strangling a negro; Africa gigantically caterpillaring as far as the Spanish foot of Europe; the nakedness of Africa where the scythe of Death swings wide.

Without cookies your experience may not be seamless. I found it particularly interesting what Rosello had to say about the role of gender in the Notebook.

The poem alternates been ecstatically hopeful and deep despair as the speaker is enamored, then disillusioned with his various masks. Until the 19th century, Carribean voices were predominantly white and racist and when the first Black and mixed writers appeared, they were often imitators who hoped that their skin colour would be noteblok if they wrote like French people. One of his students would play an important role in the French colony of Algeria, Frantz Fanon.

This is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. They were not ‘scratching’ French as the idiom goesrather, French was ‘scratching’ their throats, literally, painfully. The voice still feels so contemporary and prescient after all these years.