This editorial note introduces the translations that follow of two pieces written in fall 1956 by Aimé Césaire: his speech “Culture and Colonization,” delivered at the first Congrès International des Ecrivains et Artistes Noirs, hosted by the journal Présence Africaine in Paris in September, and his open letter to Maurice Thorez in October, in which he resigned from the French Communist Party. The editorial note places the two pieces in the context of the political currents of French colonialism at the time (on the eve of the Algerian revolution) and of Césaire's own development as a politician and writer. In particular, it highlights the links between these documents and his well-known book Discourse on Colonialism (1955), which is widely considered to be one of the classics of anticolonial thought.
Brent Hayes Edwards; Introduction: Césaire in 1956. Social Text 1 June 2010; 28 (2 (103)): 115–125. doi: https://doi.org/10.1215/01642472-2009-070
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