This essay focuses on the new landscape of Aimé Césaire studies that has been made possible largely through the work of one scholar, A. James Arnold (along with a team including Alex Gil, Daniel Delas, and others). The publication in 2013 of the enormous volume Poésie, théâtre, essais et discours (Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique / Présence Africaine) reorganizes and reorients the study of Césaire's principal texts, especially the Cahier d'un retour au pays natal. Arnold's prefaces in that volume and in his edition of The Original 1939 Notebook of a Return to the Native Land go beyond editing and into editorializing about the evolution of the Cahier. Examining issues of Marxism, surrealism, and poetic politics, this essay attempts to raise certain questions about Arnold's interpretations, while recognizing the immense value of his editorial contributions.

The text of this article is only available as a PDF.
You do not currently have access to this content.