L’hybridité dans Et les chiens se taisaient d’Aimé Césaire : Une forme de médiation

in Hybrid Genres / L'Hybridité des genres
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In the present study, I propose a new reading of Aimé Césaire’s Et les chiens se taisaient, a work that has received very little critical attention. A diachronic and comparative analysis of three different versions of this piece (the unexamined Saint-Dié des Vosges version, and those of 1946 and 1957), shows that a new reading of Césaire’s positions on colonialism is still possible. The text’s hybridity, which concerns both its genre and the characters of the narrative (and may very well be the cause of the general misunderstanding that surrounds the different versions), can be read as a way of conceiving a form of mediation between the two antagonistic poles of colonialization: the colonizer and the colonized. Behind the complex poetics of Et les chiens se taisaient is the attempt at resolving a conflict: the sharing of common linguistic and physical features among characters might serve to develop an ethics of intersubjective relationships. Césaire’s text(s) thus allows us to rethink the notion of negritude not as an essentialist or binary concept, but rather, as it often appears in Césaire’s work, as a means of envisioning a way out of a field of antagonisms, as a form of mediation.

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