Poetics of Relation

Front Cover
University of Michigan Press, 1997 - Foreign Language Study - 226 pages
6 Reviews
Édouard Glissant, long recognized in the French and francophone world as one of the greatest writers and thinkers of our times, is increasingly attracting attention from English-speaking readers. Born in Martinique in 1928, Glissant earned a doctorate from the Sorbonne. When he returned to his native land in the mid-sixties, his writing began to focus on the idea of a "relational poetics," which laid the groundwork for the "créolité" movement, fueled by the understanding that Caribbean culture and identity are the positive products of a complex and multiple set of local historical circumstances. Some of the metaphors of local identity Glissant favored--the hinterland (or lack of it), the maroon (or runaway slave), the creole language--proved lasting and influential.
InPoetics of Relation, Glissant turns the concrete particulars of Caribbean reality into a complex, energetic vision of a world in transformation. He sees the Antilles as enduring suffering imposed by history, yet as a place whose unique interactions will one day produce an emerging global consensus. Arguing that the writer alone can tap the unconscious of a people and apprehend its multiform culture to provide forms of memory capable of transcending "nonhistory," Glissant defines his "poetics of relation"--both aesthetic and political--as a transformative mode of history, capable of enunciating and making concrete a French-Caribbean reality with a self-defined past and future. Glissant's notions of identity as constructed in relation and not in isolation are germane not only to discussions of Caribbean creolization but also to our understanding of U.S. multiculturalism. In Glissant's view, we come to see that relation in all its senses--telling, listening, connecting, and the parallel consciousness of self and surroundings--is the key to transforming mentalities and reshaping societies.
This translation of Glissant's work preserves the resonating quality of his prose and makes the richness and ambiguities of his voice accessible to readers in English.
"The most important theoretician from the Caribbean writing today. . . . He is central not only to the burgeoning field of Caribbean studies, but also to the newly flourishing literary scene in the French West Indies." --Judith Graves Miller, University of Wisconsin, Madison
Édouard Glissant is Distinguished Professor of French at City University of New York, Graduate Center. Betsy Wing's recent translations include Lucie Aubrac'sOutwitting the Gestapo(with Konrad Bieber), Didier Eribon'sMichel Foucaultand Hélêne Cixous'sThe Book of Promethea.
  

What people are saying - Write a review

User ratings

5 stars
3
4 stars
3
3 stars
0
2 stars
0
1 star
0

Review: Poetics of Relation

User Review  - Sara-Maria Sorentino - Goodreads

didn't finish Read full review

Review: Poetics of Relation

User Review  - Goodreads

didn't finish Read full review

Contents

III
1
IV
5
V
11
VI
23
VII
37
VIII
43
IX
45
X
47
XIX
121
XX
129
XXI
131
XXII
133
XXIII
141
XXIV
159
XXV
169
XXVI
181

XI
63
XII
77
XIII
81
XIV
87
XV
89
XVI
91
XVII
103
XVIII
111
XXVII
183
XXVIII
185
XXIX
189
XXX
195
XXXI
205
XXXII
211
Copyright

Common terms and phrases

References to this book

All Book Search results »

About the author (1997)

Born in Martinique in 1928, influenced by poet/politician Aime Cesaire, and educated at the Sorbonne in Paris, Edouard Glissant has emerged as one of the most influential postcolonial theorists, novelists, playwrights, and poets not only in the Caribbean but also in contemporary French literature. He has twice been a finalist for the Nobel Prize in Literature. His works include Poetics of Relation, Caribbean Discourse, Faulkner Mississippi, Collected Poems, and the novel The Ripening. He is currently Distinguished Professor of French at the Graduate Center, CUNY and lives in New York, Paris, and Martinique.

Betsy Wing has worked for many years as a translator of books from French to English and has published more than twenty volumes of translation with editors at Harvard, the University of Minnesota, the University of Nebraska and, more recently with Dalkey Archive Press. The works have ranged over many subjects: philosophy, political science, poetry and literary fiction, and ranging from the French feminist thought of Helene Cixous to the poetics and political philosophy of Edouard Glissant. Each translation involved delving into new ways of thinking about the world and, frequently, considerable research. Through her work in translation, Wing became acutely aware of the extent to which all works of art are also translations, whether written as fiction or poetry or created in one of the visual arts-translations of something haunting one's mind. Her new novel NOW HISTORY: One Home Front in WWII is, indeed a translation of distant voices, echoes of a time. She structured the novel around the information her characters, isolated from the actual events, had available to them on a daily basis-essentially the censored version of the war that they read in the daily paper. Lurking in the background is what we now know about the events of World War II, but the story on the pages of NOW HISTORY comes from long hours of reading their local paper on microfilm and imagining their lives around this information. The result is a subtle, poignant story of discovering the many losses that war entails, even at a distance, as well as the empowering knowledge that comes from learning to deal with difficulties on one's own. Wing's earlier fiction, a novella and short story collection, LOOK OUT FOR HYDROPHOBIA is a compilation gleaned from work done over a rather long period of time and deals in many touching and yet funny ways with various stages of a woman's maturity. More recently Betsy Wing has been exploring the art of printmaking as a form of expression (and translation). Her work is mostly monotypes, a painterly form of the art which produces singular, original pieces rather than the repeatable images for which most forms of printmaking are known. Her prints have been exhibited at the Caffery Gallery in Baton Rouge, Louisiana and at the annual show of work by "The Illuminateds" at the Barn on Paradise Point in East Boothbay, Maine. They have also been exhibited in numerous juried shows. Some of them may be seen at the gallery attached to her website betsywing.com

Bibliographic information