In 1932, at the very peak of French colonialism, a group of Martiniquan students at the Sorbonne in Paris established a Caribbean Surrealist Group, and published a single issue of a journal called Legitime Defense. Immediately banned by the authorities, it passed almost unnoticed at the time. Yet its publication began a remarkable series of debates and collaborations between surrealism and Caribbean intellectuals that had a profound impact on the struggle for cultural identity. In the next two decades these exchanges greatly influenced the evolution of the concept of negritude, initiated revolution in Haiti in 1946, and crucially affected the development of surrealism itself. This fascinating book explores the nature of this relationship between black anti-colonialist movements in the Caribbean and the most radical of the European avant-gardes, and presents a series of key texts which reveal its complexity - most of them never before translated into English. Included are Rene Menil's subtle philosophical essays and the fierce polemics of Aime and Suzanne Cesaire that had a great influence on Franz Fanon, appreciations of surrealism by Haitian writers, lyrical evocations of the Caribbean by Andre Breton and Andre Masson, and rich explorations of Haiti and voodoo religion by Pierre Mabille and Michel Leiris.
Publisher: Verso Books
Number of pages: 304
Weight: 553 g
Dimensions: 234 x 156 x 20 mm
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