In this essay I explore the generic limitations of the “Pour une littérature-monde en français” manifesto. Looking at certain of the document's structural and thematic stumbling blocks, I examine the essential dilemmas that reside at the heart of all postcolonial literary production and consider alternative responses to the issues of belonging and cultural identity evoked in the manifesto. I note in particular the absence of Haitian Spiralist writers Frankétienne and Jean-Claude Fignolé from the list of signatories, arguing that the non-inclusion of these authors strikingly exemplifies the troublesome contradictions and lacunae present throughout “Pour une littérature-monde en français.” In reflecting on the contextual paradoxes and ironies that mark the manifesto, I draw attention to the need for greater critical vigilance with respect to the manifold political, geographical, and linguistic borders of postcolonial literature.

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