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Postcolonial Thought in the French-speaking World$
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Charles Forsdick and David Murphy

Print publication date: 2009

Print ISBN-13: 9781846310546

Published to Liverpool Scholarship Online: June 2013

DOI: 10.5949/UPO9781846319808

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date: 20 October 2018

Aimé Césaire and Francophone Postcolonial Thought

Aimé Césaire and Francophone Postcolonial Thought

(p.31) Chapter 1 Aimé Césaire and Francophone Postcolonial Thought
Postcolonial Thought in the French-speaking World
Mary Gallagher
Liverpool University Press

Born in 1913 in Martinique, Aimé Césaire was drawn to Europe as a young man. He enrolled at the Lycée Louis-le-Grand in Paris in 1932 and at the École Normale Supérieure (ENS) three years later. During these years in the capital of France, Césaire co-founded, along with the Senegalese poet-politician Léopold Sédar Senghor and the Guyanese poet, Léon Gontran Damas, the négritude movement. He first used the term négritude in the review L'Étudiant noir, also founded by him, Damas, and Senghor in 1935. Towards 1938, Césaire finished writing his epic poem Cahier d'un retour au pays natal and completed his studies at the ENS. In Cahier, he displayed a highly developed political consciousness as well as acute linguistic, poetic, and ethical sensibility that blossomed into a variegated life of writing and politics. This chapter examines Césaire's literary oeuvre including his poetry, along with his political thought and his contribution to Francophone postcolonial thought.

Keywords:   Martinique, Aimé Césaire, poetry, political thought, postcolonial thought, France, négritude, Léopold Sédar Senghor, Léon Gontran Damas, Cahier d'un retour

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