The article explores Edouard Glissant's literary, intellectual and political activity over the past decade in the light of Edward W. Said's concept of `late style'. There is no intention to present the Martiniquan writer and intellectual as an exemplum of Said's categorization. Instead, the aim is to suggest that a dichotimized understanding of `lateness', holding in tension extremes of harmony and intransigence, resolution and contradiction, may provide a useful means of exploring the ambiguities of Glissant's widely proliferating and increasingly public activity in the eighth, and now ninth, decade of his life. The article analyses contributions to manifestos, reports, open letters and other public documents relating to topics such as slavery, colonial memory, ecology and the relationship of France to the Antillean DOM-ROMs. Attenuating Chris Bongie's association of Glissant with a `scribal politics' of postcolonialism, it suggests that the Martiniquan author illustrates the uneasy yet ultimately productive relationship between politics and poetics that may be seen to be particularly characteristic of the Francophone Caribbean.

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