Caribbean Critique

Antillean Critical Theory from Toussaint to Glissant

Nick Nesbitt

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ISBN: 9781846318665

Publication: May 31, 2013

Series: Contemporary French and Francophone Cultures 26

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Caribbean Critique seeks to define and analyze the distinctive contribution of francophone Caribbean thinkers to perimetric Critical Theory. The book argues that their singular project has been to forge a brand of critique that, while borrowing from North Atlantic predecessors such as Rousseau, Hegel, Marx, and Sartre, was from the start indelibly marked by the Middle Passage, slavery, and colonialism. Chapters and sections address figures such as Toussaint Louverture, Baron de Vastey, Victor Schoelcher, Aimé Césaire, René Ménil, Frantz Fanon, Maryse Condé, and Edouard Glissant, while an extensive theoretical introduction defines the essential parameters of 'Caribbean Critique.'

Nick Nesbitt is Professor of French and Italian at Princeton University. His books include 'Voicing Memory: History and Subjectivity in French Caribbean Literature' (University of Virginia Press, 2003) and 'Universal Emancipation: The Haitian Revolution and the Radical Enlightenment' (University of Virginia Press, 2008).

Acknowledgements Preface Introduction: The Caribbean Critical Imperative I. Tropical Equality: The Politics of Principle . 1 Foundations of Caribbean Critique: From Jacobinism to 
Black Jacobinism . 2 Victor Schoelcher, Tocqueville, and the Abolition of Slavery . 3 Aimé Césaire and the Logic of Decolonization . 4 ‘Stepping Outside the Magic Circle’: The Critical Thought 
of Maryse Condé . 5 Édouard Glissant: From the Destitution of the Political to Antillean Ultra-leftism 
II. Critique of Caribbean Violence . 6 Jacobinism, Black Jacobinism, and the Foundations of 
Political Violence . 7 The Baron de Vastey and the Contradictions of Scribal
 Critique . 8 Revolutionary Inhumanism: Fanon’s On Violence . 9 Aristide and the Politics of Democratization 
III. Critique of Caribbean Relation . 10 Édouard Glissant: From the Poétique de la relation to the Transcendental Analytic of Relation . 11 Césaire and Sartre: Totalization, Relation, Responsibility . 12 Militant Universality: Absolutely Postcolonial . Conclusion: Aimé Césaire: The Incandescent I, Destroyer of Worlds Appendix: Letter of Jean-François, Belair, and Biassou/
Toussaint, July 1792 Notes Bibliography Index

Nesbitt has made an important and highly original contribution to such debates.
  New West Indian Guide 88

Nesbitt’s book may be read as a survey, it also offers extremely succinct, complex, and compelling new perspectives on polemical issues that inhabit our work as professors, pedagogues, and intellectuals today …
  Contemporary French Civilization, Vol. 39, No. 3

… the book fills an important gap in francophone Caribbean studies, which has always had a strong theoretical component but, arguably, has not previously been subject to such a rigorously philosophical critical treatment. … latest study will prove to be a landmark, indeed seminal, work in Caribbean Critique.
  French Studies, Vol. 68, no 2

This is a very important and exciting book. Extending to the whole of the French Caribbean his previous work on the philosophical bases of the Haitian Revolution, Nesbitt has produced the first ever account of the region’s writing from a consistently philosophical, as distinct from literary or historical, standpoint.
Celia Britton  
University College London

Format: Hardback

Size: 239 × 163 mm

346 Pages

ISBN: 9781846318665

Publication: May 31, 2013

Series: Contemporary French and Francophone Cultures 26

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