Not so long ago, Negritude was an object of scepticism in many postcolonial quarters for its supposed implication in a variety of no-longer respectable patterns of thought: its purportedly essentialist approach to cultural identity seemed dated in relation to the more open-ended poetics of creolization, and its politics was seen as either too committed to Manichean patterns of anti-colonial thinking or too accommodating in its willingness to envision federalist as opposed to nationalist solutions to the problem of decolonization. Over the past decade that situation has changed dramatically, both in relation to Negritude politics (see the ground-breaking work of Gary Wilder) and in relation to its poetics. This review essay examines the recent (re)turn to Negritude by looking at Carrie Noland's 2015 Voices of Negritude in Modernist Print: Aesthetic Subjectivity, Diaspora, and the Lyric Regime, engaging with its revisionist, Adorno-based take on “the Negritude poem” (specifically the poetry of Aimé Césaire and Léon-Gontran Damas) and contextualizing her approach in relation to the recent “aesthetic turn” in post colonial studies.
Chris Bongie; Aesthetics, Politics, and the Return of Negritude. Comparative Literature 1 June 2017; 69 (2): 238–249. doi: https://doi.org/10.1215/00104124-3865423
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