Cher Aimé...

Cher Aimé...

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Cher Aimé… is the sixth title of the “Cher…” collection published on the occasion of the tenth anniversary of the death of Aimé Césaire

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Aimé Césaire (1913-2008): “Comme le mot nègre nous était jeté comme une injure, nous l’avons ramassé et en avons fait une parure”1.

Upon his death, on April 17th, 2008, national funerals were organized at the cemetery of La Joyau à Fort-de-France in his home country Martinique. His tomb reads: “J’habite une blessure sacrée / j’habite des ancêtres imaginaires / j’habite un vouloir obscur / j’habite un long silence / j’habite une soif irremediable” (Moi, luminaire 1982). In 2011, a plate to his name was sealed in the crypt of the Pantheon among other illustrious men. What a road travelled from the Victor-Schoelcher high school in Fort-de-France where he was a brilliant scholar, the Louis-Le-Grand high school of Paris and the Ecole Normale Supérieure of the rue d’Ulm (1935)…to the Assemblée Nationale (1945-1993) where he was an orator idolized by some and feared by others.

The genius of Aimé Césaire has been to give a universal reach to his fight for the emancipation of people: “My mouth will be the mouth of misfortunes that have no mouth, my voice, the freedom of those that sink in the prison of despair” (Return to my native land, 1939) without ever separating his political commitment from his poetical inspiration. Today, the man rests on laurels. Many quote him and countless libraries, parks and town squares bear his name. His voice should be kept alive in the turmoil of our world, he, who wanted to set it “free from tyranny, hatred and fanaticism”.

Ten years after his death, what place holds this man who gave his life to inspire other men the “strength to look at tomorrow”? The answer partly lies in the vibrant letters of the living authors of this “Cher Aimé…”.

1. "The word negro was thrown at our face with scorn, so we picked it up and wore it like a gemstone"

April 17th, 2018: Tenth anniversary of the death of the poet and politician

Prestigious authors:

• Michaëlle Jean, General secretary of the Francophonie

• Nimrod, writer

• Rodney Saint-Eloi, editor and writer

• Christian Schiaretti, stage director metteur and director of TNP Villeurbanne

• Claude Schopp, writer

• Jack Ralite, former minister

• Jean-Pierre Siméon, poet

• Lilian Thuram, Lilian Thuram Foundation

• Abd Al Malik, artist

• Daniel Maximin, writer

• Marc Alexandre Oho Bambe, poet

• Salah Stétié, poet

• Students of the Edmond Lucien Valard school, Martinique

• René Depestre, poet

• Audrey Pulvar, journalist and essayist

Cher Aimé Césaire

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20 x 25 cm
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