Poetics of Relation

Édouard Glissant, translated from the French by Betsy Wing
Published in 1997
by University of Michigan Press

In Poetics of Relation, author and philosopher Édouard Glissant challenges the traditional thinking behind the craft of writing. Glissant uses the particular history and reality of the Caribbean to argue that the writer, politically and aesthetically, can tap into the unconscious of a people and provide forms of memory capable of transcending “nonhistory.” With concrete examples from James Joyce to Baudelaire, Heraclitus to Creole proverbs, Glissant also encourages writers to imagine new forms of syntax for their sentences. As translator Betsy Wing writes in the introduction to the book, “Glissant's intent, finally, is to realize Relation in concrete terms—in which language is made of rocks and words and in which the future can be made to open for the Antilles by beating a time other than the linear, sequential order of syntax.” 


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