After the death of Aimé Césaire in 2008, several Martinican writers published homages to the poet/statesman, indicating thereby their own place in the legacy he established. This essay studies one such homage, Patrick Chamoiseau's Césaire, Perse, Glissant: Les liaisons magnétiques, un essai (2013). Chamoiseau's attempt to weave Césaire into a tradition that includes Saint-John Perse, Edouard Glissant, and—most prominently—the French poet René Char leaves us with many questions: What is the complex geography of legacy? What happens when substantially different poets are pressed into the same heritage? What is the proper time and place of a poet or a poem? What is the work of legacy? How might the effort to memorialize a poet detach us from the material conditions of his or her emergence?
Carrie Noland; Césaire, Chamoiseau, and the Work of Legacy. Small Axe 1 November 2015; 19 (3 (48)): 102–120. doi: https://doi.org/10.1215/07990537-3341705
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