Saturday, March 12, 2011

Édouard Glissant - Discover the roots to open itself to the world

Portrait of the writer of Martinique dead recently at the age of 82
Discover the roots to open itself to the world

Édouard Glissant, the patriarch of the Caribbean literature, on last February 3rd is dead in Paris at age of 82. In his writings Glissant has strongly expressed that the World is lacerated between the fear of the globalization (it conforms and it cancels the differences) and the exasperation of the differences (that is it brings the people to stay isolated and to hate each others).

Once he wrote: The roots do not sink into the darkness of ancestral origin, searching the purity, but they widen in surface as branches of a plant, to meet other roots and to shake them as hands."

This thought is direct expression of the " creolization." This word refers to the Creole, this language which is a mix between the French dialect spoken by master of the slaves and the language of the slaves themselves. It became the frank language of the Caribbean.

In the literature of Glissant we can find therefore the influences of the black slaves picked up from Africa, of the French masters of the slaves, of the Caribbean and of the people who later arrived, including the Indians, the Chinese and the Syrians.

Glissant has written numerous essays and novels. His masterpiece is The Fourth Century (1964), a narration of that four centuries in which the slaves' humanity, in the hold of the slave ships, leans out to life and history.

Édouard is hard in his report of the slavery but he is immune entirely from the vengeful resentment that would remove his interior liberty and his work.

This great author, well known in France and in the USA, accepted the limits of mutual human understanding (we have to learn to live with that limit) and in one of the last interviews he said: “we need to learn to live with the other and to love him, accepting to not be able to understand him and to be able to be understood by him.”

Adapted by Alberto Fostinelli, internship student with Galway Libraries, from an article in Corriere della sera written by Claudio Magris.

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