Rethinking Négritude through Léon-Gontran Damas analyses four cases in which Damasian Négritude shifted through generic experimentation:
Retour de Guyane (1938),
Veillées noires (1943) and
Black-Label (1956). In doing so, it also advances scholarship on Damas (1912–1978) in two ways. On the one hand, it undertakes the crucial and in-depth research needed to challenge the understanding of Négritude as a bipartite (Césaire and Senghor) phenomenon. On the other hand, it offers an innovative reading of Damas whose work deserves more complete consideration than it has received thus far. Reading this essay will illuminate Damas’s works and their relationship to one another, thus demonstrating the continuity of Damasian Négritude.
F. Bart Miller holds a PhD in French Studies from the University of Liverpool. He is a specialist in French Caribbean Literature, and his other publications have appeared in
International Journal of Francophone Studies, Romance Studies and in the volume
Adaptation: Studies in French and Francophone Culture, in the series
Modern French Identities, with Peter Lang publishers.
Introduction Chapter 1: Awakening to an Anti-Colonial Poetics: The Case of Pigments
Chapter 2: Damas’s Confrontation with Colonialism: Ethnographic Essayism and Anti-Colonial Critique in Retour de Guyane
Chapter 3: A Return to Guyane: The Use of the Folk Tale in Veillées noires
Chapter 4: Drinking to Remember: Pre-histories and Afterlives of Assimilation in Black-Label