The “I” as the Messiah in Césaire's First Cahier
McIntosh, Malachi. (2012) The “I” as the Messiah in Césaire's First Cahier. Research in African Literatures, Vol.43 (No.2). pp. 77-94. ISSN 0034-5210Full text not available from this repository.
Official URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.2979/reseafrilite.43.2.77
Drawing upon recent work by A. James Arnold, this article offers a detailed, close comparison of the 1956 and 1939 editions of Aimé Césaire's Cahier d'un retour au pays natal. It advances the argument that any biographical insight hidden within the poem about Césaire's time as a colonial student in Paris must be sought out in its earliest version. By exploring what was added to and excised from the early edition, this essay reveals a far more assertive and less self-conscious voice in the 1939 Cahier. This voice definitively positions itself above the masses as their Messiah-figure, showcases a perspective that parallels the position of the interwar emigrant intellectual, and reveals itself, in the poem's rarely analyzed conclusion, to possess an unusual reliance upon the whiteness it often derides.
|Item Type:||Journal Article|
|Divisions:||Faculty of Arts > English and Comparative Literary Studies|
|Journal or Publication Title:||Research in African Literatures|
|Publisher:||Indiana University Press|
|Page Range:||pp. 77-94|
|Access rights to Published version:||Restricted or Subscription Access|
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