This essay aims to develop the notion of untimeliness in order to complicate the often mimetic historicism that underwrites approaches to the question of colonial and postcolonial modernities and modernism. Starting from Homi Bhabha's notion of contramodernity, particularly in its response to Michel Foucault's ontology of the present, the essay reexamines the cultural ideology and poetics of négritude in light of the idea of an untimely and fractured present. At the center of the analysis is Aimé Césaire's Notebook of a Return to the Native Land. Jean-Paul Sartre and Jacques Derrida are also mentioned.

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