The Original 1939 Notebook of a Return to the Native Land

The Original 1939 Notebook of a Return to the Native Land

Hardback Wesleyan Poetry Language: English / French

By (author) Aime Cesaire, Edited by James Arnold, Edited by Clayton Eshleman

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  • Publisher: Wesleyan University Press
  • Format: Hardback | 120 pages
  • Language: English / French
  • Dimensions: 152mm x 231mm x 15mm | 295g
  • Publication date: 30 April 2013
  • Publication City/Country: Hanover
  • ISBN 10: 0819573701
  • ISBN 13: 9780819573704
  • Edition: Bilingual edition
  • Edition statement: Bilingual edition
  • Sales rank: 1,037,962

Product description

Aime Cesaire's masterpiece, Notebook of a Return to the Native Land, is a work of immense cultural significance and beauty. This long poem was the beginning of Cesaire's quest for negritude, and it became an anthem of Blacks around the world. Commentary on Cesaire's work has often focused on its Cold War and anticolonialist rhetoric-material that Cesaire only added in 1956. The original 1939 version of the poem, given here in French, and in its first English translation, reveals a work that is both spiritual and cultural in structure, tone, and thrust. This Wesleyan edition includes the original illustrations by Wifredo Lam, and an introduction, notes, and chronology by A. James Arnold.

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Author information

AIME CESAIRE (1913-2008) was best known as the cocreator of the concept of negritude. CLAYTON ESHLEMAN is a professor emeritus at Eastern Michigan University and the foremost American translator of Aime Cesaire. He is the author of The Grindstone of Rapport / A Clayton Eshleman Reader and translator of The Complete Poetry of Cesar Vallejo. A. JAMES ARNOLD is an emeritus professor of French at the University of Virginia. He is the lead editor of Cesaire's complete literary works in French (in progress) and author of Modernism and Negritude: The Poetry and Poetics of Aime Cesaire.

Review quote

"American translators A. James Arnold and Clayton Eshleman bring alive in the English language the original 1939 version of Aime Cesaire's well-known Cahier d'un retour au pays natal (Notebook of a Return to the Native Land). ... Dense in its illusions and complex in structure or diction, the work earns its place as one of the more important literary writings of our twentieth century--both in its cultural contexts and linguistic innovations. For scholars and informed readers, this edition offers fresh possibilities of interpretation for this document and its history as an anticolonialist manifesto, an anthem of sorts, and a representative topology of the collective colonial black consciousness of that time." --Fiona Sze-Lorrain, Poetry Salzburg Review