On La Cohée du Lamentin – an essay but written in a poetic style. The title is the name of one corner of the bay of Lamentin in Martinique, and the book explores, among other things, the relationship between one small particular place and the Whole-World. Glissant distinguishes two types of utopia: the classic normative utopia versus utopia today, which consists of bringing together all the beauties, suffering and values of the world, and so promotes the idea of Relation. For instance, we must struggle against the disappearance of languages because they are all important. Gauvin comments that Glissant’s thought is structured by a series of oppositions, which might be seen as ‘systematic thought’, but he replies that one can have non-systematic systems. There is a need both to define place and identity but also to go beyond them: this is a ‘poetics of Relation’.
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