Negritude Criticism: Major Figures - Essay

Seth L. Wolitz (essay date 1969)

(Twentieth-Century Literary Criticism)

SOURCE: Wolitz, Seth L. “The Hero of Negritude in the Theater of Aimé Césaire.” Kentucky Romance Quarterly 16, no. 3 (1969): 195-208.

[In the following essay, Wolitz explains the vision of Negritude as expressed by Césaire in his drama and poetry.]

          “J'ai marché devant tous,
triste et seul dans ma gloire.”

—Alfred de Vigny

The poet-President Léopold Senghor has written many theoretic tracts on Negritude,1 but Aimé Césaire, poet, playwright, Mayor of Fort-de-France, has expounded, for the most part, his vision of Negritude in verse and drama.

… ma Négritude n'est ni une tour ni une...

(The entire section is 5399 words.)

Melvin Dixon (essay date 1991)

(Twentieth-Century Literary Criticism)

SOURCE: Dixon, Melvin. Introduction to The Collected Poetry, by Léopold Sédar Senghor, pp. xxi-xli. Charlottesville, Va.: University Press of Virginia, 1991.

[In the following introduction to Senghor's collected poetry, Dixon summarizes Senghor's life and work, focusing variously on his writings and political career.]

The election of Léopold Sédar Gnilane Senghor to the French Academy in 1983 marked yet another milestone in the fifty-year career of the poet and former president of the Republic of Senegal. He became the first African and the only black intellectual among the forty life members of the 349-year-old Academy. Widely respected in France as an association...

(The entire section is 6610 words.)

André Breton (essay date 1996)

(Twentieth-Century Literary Criticism)

SOURCE: Breton, André. “A Great Black Poet: Aimé Césaire.” In Refusal of the Shadow: Surrealism and the Caribbean, edited by Michael Richardson and translated by Krzysztof Fijalkowski and Michael Richardson, pp. 191-98. London: Verso, 1996.

[In the following essay, Breton briefly recounts his relationship with Césaire, also expressing his admiration for the poet as a truly significant and powerful black poet.]

April 1941. The view was blocked by the hulk of a ship, sealed with madrepore to the sand of the beach and probed by the waves (at least the little children could not have dreamed of a better place to frolic all day long), which by its very fixity gave no...

(The entire section is 3301 words.)