Critical work on Glissant often divides his writing into two periods: before and after the publication of Le Discours antillais in 1981. In the first he focuses mainly on Martinique and its social, political and cultural problems, while the second broadens out, via the concept of the `Tout-monde', to the postcolonial world as a whole; and this second period coincides with his becoming a much better known figure, particularly in the United States. As an illustration of Glissant's influence beyond the francophone Caribbean, I compare the analyses of his trajectory given by Chris Bongie (Islands and Exiles, 1998) and Peter Hallward (Absolutely Postcolonial: Writing between the Singular and the Specific, 2002), and argue that, contrary to their assumption that `late' Glissant has abandoned political commitment, the later texts explore the possibilities of new kinds of political action that will be effective in the era of globalization.

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