Aimé Césaire: Discours sur le colonialisme [Discourse on Colonialism]

(1648 words)
  • Bronwyn Winter (University of Sydney)

This essay of some fifty pages, a passionate denunciation of colonialism, first appeared in pamphlet form in 1950, with a first English translation in 1953. At the time, Aimé Césaire was Communist Maire of Fort de France in Martinique and Communist Deputy in the French Assemblée Nationale (he was to leave the Party in 1956, because of its resistance to destalinisation). The essay was republished in 1995 by Présence Africaine, the publishing house founded in Paris and Dakar by Senegalese intellectual Alioune Diop, himself a member of the French Senate at the time.

The timing of the first and second publications of the Discours is significant: the 1950s was the decade of decolonisation, of the Algerian war (which began …

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Winter, Bronwyn. "Discours sur le colonialisme". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 07 December 2011
[, accessed 26 September 2016.]

Related Groups

  1. Francophone Caribbean Literature
  2. Postcolonial Theory and Criticism