Tropiques, produced in Martinique between 1941 and 1945, was one of the most influential Caribbean instances of the modernist little magazine, or petit revue. The magazine was a collaborative cultural venture that saw Martinique through its subjection to Vichy rule and ended when direct political participation became possible for its generators. Tropiques was first conceived by Aimé Césaire and edited by him, the philosopher René Ménil, and the cultural theorist Suzanne Césaire, all teachers at the Lycée Schoelcher in Fort-de-France. The magazine's final publication, in 1945, gave way directly to Aimé Césaire's political career as the mayor of Fort-de-France and representative to the French National Assembly. As he explained retrospectively, upon the Liberation, Tropiques' cultural combat gave way to political combat. This essay examines the achievements of Tropiques' cultural combat: resistance to the Vichy regime and literary marginality, a theory of locally situated poetry as an avenue for freedom, and poetic interventions in racist colonial ideology.

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