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 conveys his wrath in words of fire.

Literature of the African Diaspora 6. His style has also been described as blunt and cryptic.

Léon Damas – Wikipedia

A similar sound effect is to be found lo a series of insulting words, the connotations of which are gonfran inverted: 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: In Anissa Talahite-Moodley ed. In the third movement, the speaker is the addressee, the Other has turned out to be his female? Literature, Translation, and the Rise of Black Internationalism. An Anthology of Translations from the French.

Damas, Léon

The translation does not take any of this away. The nouns used to describe the islands repeatedly slip into neologisms. This chapter discusses the text in relation to the English translation we have produced.

Skip to main content. Black Poetry from Africa and the Caribbean. Overshadowed in most essays and anthologies devoted to the movement by his Senegalese and Martinican fellow writers,5 Damas deserves renewed academic and public attention,6 especially since some critics have misunderstood his work. 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.


Peau noire, masques blancs. Warner, Keith Q, ed. Once his parents heard of his new interests and activities, they cut him off financially, and Damas was forced to take on a variety of odd jobs in order to support himself. Three Continents Press, Smith, Fall Last edited: 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.

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Damas, Léon – Postcolonial Studies

The Spirit of Resistance. Only some of the many displacements effected in our translation are presented above. It might just indicate as, indeed, it does in the translation that the enumeration is open, but, on closer Batchelor, SFPS 4, While the second and third phrases are semantically close to the original, the image in the first is markedly different.

Damas was the first of the 3 founders of the Negritude to publish his own book of poems. Unbelonging The first lines of Black-Label introduce readers to an exiled subject in a condition of terrible loneliness and despair. As often happens, attempting to get a detail right can ruin the effect of the verse.

October House Inc, Only gradually, and never completely, do place, time and motivations come to be identified.

Léon Damas

However, some words are less strikingly unexpected in the English version than in the French original so that the translation has lost some of what Berman Research in African Literatures Damas served briefly in the French Army in the Second World War, and like his comrades Cesaire and Senghor, he also held political office. He eventually acquired a scholarship to finance his studies. In fact, one of the most striking features in the poem is its use of reiterative patterns.


Consulted 3 April Write A Comment Pigmenst Reply. The Practice of Diaspora: He does not belong anywhere. Transgressing normative French and parodying sophistication in the use of vocabulary and grammar as illustrated by L.

Translated by the authors.

Black-Label has many other instances of lines that play on repetition of sounds and syllables, of short words that provide the typical beat of his most violent attacks on assimilation and alienation.

Senghor who was born and raised in the village of Joal, south of DakarDamas addresses the Lord in a bitter-ironic tone: So, an important feature in the poem, which has to be taken into account in the translating process, is this overwhelming sense of uncertainty and blurring of boundaries between past and present, here and there, reality and imagination ; even the colour line is crossed in interracial love that seems to be more imagined than actually lived.

In most cases they can be reproduced with slight alterations.

He served in the French assembly as deputy from Guiana, but was not elected for a second term.