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Relire La lzarde: Victoire et mlancolie de la dpartementalisation

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This article examines the discourse surrounding departmentalization in Antillian literature through an analysis of Edouard Glissant's 1958 La lzarde (The Ripening). It argues that the final melancholy of the hero (and mouthpiece of the author), though ignored by Glissant's numerous critics, serves to nuance the positive representation of the victorious local elections in Martinique. Far from a minor detail, the postcolonial hero's melancholy, which stands in contrast to the collective elation following the election of the local representative (inspired by the real-life candidacy of Aim Csaire), proves upon closer examination to be an indispensable element of Glissant's commentary on the electoral period of 19456 in Martinique. La lzarde, the first novel by Glissant, who would become the greatest thinker of antillanit in the francophone context, when read in this light, thus becomes a unique reflection on the limits and paradoxes of the transition in 1946 from a colonial status to that of a department assimilated to France.
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Keywords: Glissant; acculturation; assimilation; clture; departmentalisation; maladie; repetition; rsistance

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: University of Pennsylvania.

Publication date: November 26, 2008

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  • The International Journal of Francophone Studies offers a critical preview for a new development in the understanding of 'France outside France', with a thorough insight into the network of disciplinary issues affiliated with this study. The journal complements the thriving area of scholarly interest in the French-speaking regions of the world, bringing a location of linguistic, cultural, historical and social dynamics within a single academic arena.
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