Introduction to a Poetics of Diversity

BookIntroduction to a Poetics of Diversity

Introduction to a Poetics of Diversity

by Édouard Glissant

The Glissant Translation Project, 1


June 2nd, 2020



Other Formats



This book reproduces the texts of four lectures, followed by discussions, and two interviews with Lise Gauvin published in Introduction à une poétique du divers (1996); and also four further interviews from L’Imaginaire des langues (Lise Gauvin, 2010). It covers a wide range of topics but key recurring themes are creolization, language and langage, culture and identity, ‘monolingualism’, the ‘Chaos-world’ and the role of the writer. Migration and the various different kinds of migrants are also discussed, as is the difference between ‘atavistic’ and ‘composite’ communities, the art of translation, identity as a ‘rhizome’ rather than a single root, the Chaos-World and chaos theory, ‘trace thought’ as opposed to ‘systematic thought’, the relation between ‘place’ and the Whole-World, exoticism, utopias, a new definition of beauty as the realized quantity of differences, the status of literary genres and the possibility that literature as a whole will disappear. Four of the interviews (Chapters 6, 7, 8 and 9) relate to particular works that Glissant has published: Tout-monde, Le monde incrée, La Cohée du Lamentin, Une nouvelle région du monde. Many of these themes have been explored in his previous works, but here, because in all the chapters we see Glissant interacting with the questions and views of other people, they are presented in a particularly accessible form.

'Far too much of [Eduard Glissant's] writing remained untranslated. This series aims to correct this error and to provide access to some important later essays, lectures and interviews. [...] These new translations illuminate in different ways Glissant's sense of place as nonreductive, nonexclusive, but like the rhizome, endlessly connecting with others. These three volumes give vibrant voice to these "flashes of light", setting out a provocative web of ideas and arguments for a Whole-world in which diverse places, identities and cultures matter in the creation of an unforeseeable but vital future.'
Neil Campbell, Western American Literature

Author Information

Celia Britton is Emeritus Professor at University College London.

Table of Contents

Table of Contents
Section TitlePagePrice
1. Creolizations in the Caribbean and the Americas19
2. Languages and langages35
3. Culture and Identity53
4. The Chaos-world: Towards an Aesthetic of Relation69
Interviews 15
5. The Imagination of Languages91
6. The Writer and the Breath of Place103
7. Watching Out for the World117
8. Rethinking Utopia125
9. On Beauty as Complicity133
10 Movements of Languages and Territories of the Novel143