Léon-Gontran Damas’s Lyric Masterpiece,. Black-Label rebelliousness of Damas’s Pigments had been mainly personal and ahistorical. In London: croom. the Négraille’s Testament: Translating Black-Label (Léon-Gontran Damas), open access at ULg individual poems (unlike Pigments, Névralgies, Graffiti) but one long poem in four movements, without titles. Here .. London: Lexington Books. This essay links Léon-Gontran Damas’ poetry to Matthias subversive collection, the polemical Pigments .. New York, London: A. A. Knopf.

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He accepted a summer teaching position at Georgetown University and also taught at Federal City College. Peau noire, pigmments blancs. Black-Label is a kind of circumfession to use a concept coined by Derrida: Mort au cancre au pou mort au chancre au fou Black-Label 23 Death to canker to the bug death to cancer to the mug 16 me who in spite of its being strictly forbidden as has always told me the grammar of grammars of grandmothers of GrandMother JOAL me who now with you share and insist on it and dare.

Unbelonging The first lines of Black-Label introduce readers to an exiled subject in a condition of terrible loneliness and despair. He eventually acquired a scholarship to finance his studies. Many are in fact common to the various linguistic areas in the Caribbean but will be puzzling to readers who do not know the place.

It might just indicate as, indeed, it does in the translation that the enumeration is open, but, on closer Batchelor, SFPS 4, Literature of the African Diaspora 6. However, some words are less strikingly pigmehts in the English version than in the French original so that the translation has lost some of what Berman Africana Homestead Legacy Publishers.


Damas, Léon

In the third movement, the speaker is the addressee, the Other has turned out to be his female? Write A Comment Cancel Reply. He conveys his wrath in words of fire.

As often with Damas, short lines suggest slogans scribbled on the wall Halling, Ndagano, Biringanine, and Gervais Chirhalwira eds. It is indeed in his body that the poet experiences the deep-lying roots of racism and discrimination. Click here to sign up.

Damas, Léon – Postcolonial Studies

Paris is synonymous with exile, i. He died in January of and was interred in his home country, French Guiana. But this is an instance of sound partly taking precedence over sense, because such is obviously the case in the original. Beyond the sheer selfish pleasure of translating, we very much hope to enable scholars, teachers and readers from various horizons to discover a bold and militant poetry on some of the most preoccupying issues of post-war and postcolonial times.

Finally, there are the repeated capitalized punch-like blocks about the man who was hanged: Amsterdam and New York: Studies in French and Francophone Culture. Rhythm and syncopation are of paramount importance, and indeed jazz provides a fruitful approach to the piece. Using an appropriate rhythm is important all through the poem, and particularly with the four lines that open and close the work, recurring as a chorus throughout the four movements.


Both deeply personal and universal, private and public, the poem combines poignant memories and a sense of anguished pointlessness and tragic displacement with a sweeping apprehension of history leading to deep-seated rebellion against all forms of injustice.

It is marked by staccato rhythms, plain language, and vivid images.

Transgressing normative French and parodying sophistication in the use of vocabulary and grammar as illustrated by L.

Considering the dinner table context, the poet probably means both taste gontrab feel with your hands, with possibly a hint at good manners. He was corresponding with writers such as John LaRose or Andrew Salkey, and dreamt, half a century before Glissant, of anthologies of the African diaspora beyond samas, geographical and colour demarcations.

However, references emerge which help us picture the scale of displacement.

At the end of the second movement we come upon an ironic reminder of how European artists and intellectuals looked for exoticism in African culture: After his damae in politics he joined the French Overseas Radio Service. In most cases they can be reproduced with slight alterations. The Practice of Diaspora: It is firmly committed to retaining the complexity of the original.

The answer lies in the shape of the quatrain on the page: We decided to keep most of them as such.