A Season in the Congo

A Season in the Congo

By (author) Aime Cesaire , Translated by Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak , Introduction by Tariq Ali


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This play by renowned poet and political activist Aime Cesaire recounts the tragic death of Patrice Lumumba, the first prime minister of the Congo Republic and an African nationalist hero. "A Season in the Congo" follows Lumumba's efforts to free the Congolese from Belgian rule and the political struggles that led to his assassination in 1961. Cesaire powerfully depicts Lumumba as a sympathetic, Christ-like figure whose conscious martyrdom reflects his self-sacrificing humanity and commitment to pan-Africanism. Born in Martinique and educated in Paris, Cesaire was a revolutionary artist and lifelong political activist who founded the Martinique Independent Revolution Party. Cesaire's ardent personal opposition to Western imperialism and racism fuels both his profound sympathy for Lumumba and the emotional strength of "A Season in the Congo". Now rendered in a lyrical translation by distinguished scholar Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak, Cesaire's play will find a new audience of readers interested in world literature and the vestiges of European colonialism.

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  • Hardback | 168 pages
  • 134.62 x 210.82 x 20.32mm | 340.19g
  • 23 Dec 2010
  • Seagull Books London Ltd
  • Greenford
  • English
  • 1905422946
  • 9781905422944
  • 529,036

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Author Information

Aime Cesaire (1913-2008) was born in Basse-Pointe, Martinique. Though educated in Paris, he was deeply involved in the struggle for French West Indian rights. He is the author of several volumes of poetry and plays, including Putting in Fetters; Lost Bodies, Decapitated Sun; and The Tragedy of King Christophe. Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak is University Professor in the humanities at Columbia University.

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Review quote

"Patrice Lumumba's tragically brief time in power, followed by his murder, is one of those pivotal, revelatory episodes of injustice that keeps echoing through the decades. Small wonder that it has inspired artwork, novels, films, and this haunting play, which it is splendid to have in a spirited new translation." - Adam Hochschild, author of The Mirror at Midnight: A South African Journey "One of the most powerful French poets of the century." - New York Times Book Review "Cesaire [was] the greatest living poet in the French language." - American Book Review"

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