Home Others Césaire, Nietzsche and the struggle against colonialism

Césaire, Nietzsche and the struggle against colonialism

with Bachir Diagne, Romuald Fonkoua , Alex Gil, Daniele Lorenzini and Francoisesides

Aimé Césaire's encounter with Nietzsche - in his own words one of his essential points of reference - nourished a vitality, an outrage, a passion for tragedy, for art, for knowledge and politics, in sum a will to power that should enrich his poems and play but also promotes its anti-colonialism and political struggles.

Dionysus's revenge on Apollo: this subject off Birth of a tragedy Broken in Césaire's poetics and plays and shot through his 1944 manifesto, Poetry and knowledge - a text that would confirm and fuel Césaire's revolt against French colonialism and racism, which would take the name Négritude. Nietzsche's privilege of the Dionysian element in early Greek tragedy, Aristotelian poetics about scientific facts, myths and becoming about doer and being - the inspired Césaire, weapons and intellectual ammunition, which he used to withstand the oppressive, prevailing discourse of science Progress associated with white supremacy in the Antilles and the forms of conventional rationality that dominated philosophical discourse in the West.

Scientific progress, Césaire would call impoverished knowledge that only an impoverished person can bring us. As for the Kantian philosophy, Césaire would write, the asylum seekers are all there. And uniquely restrictive. But Césaire would go further. In contrast to scientific knowledge or western conventional rationality, wrote Césaire, it is only the revolutionary image that enables man to break through the boundaries:

Through the image, the revolutionary image, the distant image, the image that overturns all laws of thought, man finally breaks through the barrier .

Césaire gives voice to the radical potential in Nietzsche's writings on tragedy and poetics, a radical potential that would ultimately nourish an entire artistic and political movement, negation, and motivate decolonization. With Césaire and Léopold Sédar Senghor (1906–2001) it would produce a unique combination of self-determination without nationalism or state sovereignty - a distinctive view of decolonization and democratic federation, which Gary Wilder brilliantly analyzes under the heading Freedom Time.

From the poetic arts, from the Dionysian, Césaire drew much of the vitality and poetic knowledge necessary to withstand colonial and western rule. In this sense, Césaire's writings demonstrate not only the influence of his early encounters with Nietzschean, but rather how much more - in a revolutionary way - can be done with these early fragments and aphorisms. And so it is Césaire's art form and creativity, his poetic knowledge and political practice that we can turn to for our own inspiration and resistance in these dark times.

[Read the full article here. © Bernard E. Harcourt]

rose

The Negritude criticism of colonial modernity in the interwar and postwar period was largely based on the vitalistic philosophies of Nietzsche, Bergson and Heidegger. Many of the central figures, including Aimé Césaire, Léopold Sédar Senghor and Édouard Glissant, were inspired by these countercurrents of Western thought. Above all, Césaire and Senghor took over the ideas of Dionysian and Apollonian from Nietzsches Birth of Tragedy in their aesthetic philosophy. In this session we will examine this conversation with Nietzsche's thoughts on tragedy.

Interesting Articles

Editor'S Choice

A league of its own
A league of its own
PhD program
PhD program
Earn a Ph.D. in social work from Columbia University. We have a prestigious and influential Ph.D. Program since 1950.
Carlos Sandoval
Carlos Sandoval
Zeynep Celik zum Antrittsprofessor von Sakip Sabanci ernannt
Zeynep Celik zum Antrittsprofessor von Sakip Sabanci ernannt
July 1, 2021 - Dr. Zeynep Çelik was named the first Sakıp Sabancı Visiting Professor at the Sakıp Sabancı Center for Turkish Studies at Columbia University. Her in-depth expertise and unique historical perspective on the architecture and urban planning of the region will enhance the goals of the Sakıp Sabancı Center.
Lynnise E. Pantin
Lynnise E. Pantin
Lynnise Pantin ’03 is the founding director of the Entrepreneurship and Community Development Clinic. Students at the clinic develop legal skills by providing legal services in a range of transactional, intellectual property and governance matters to community organizations and low and middle income entrepreneurs. Pantin's pedagogy is shaped by her scholarship, which focuses on the systemic socio-economic barriers that colored and humble entrepreneurs face. Her recent journal articles include The Economic Justice Imperative for Transactional Law Clinics in the Villanova Law Review and The Wealth Gap and the Racial Disparities in the Startup Ecosystem. Pantin joined Columbia Law School in 2019 after opening her clinic as a visiting professor for a year. Previously, she was the founder and director of the Entrepreneurship and Innovation Clinic at Boston College Law School and co-founder of the Transactional Law Clinic at New York Law School, where she taught legal practice and directed the Social Entrepreneurship Initiative of the Impact Center for Public Welfare Law. Pantin began her career as an Associate at Debevoise & Plimpton LLP practicing corporate and securities law in the investment management group of the firm's corporate division. She advised private investment funds, their sponsors and investors on all issues relating to the establishment and operation of national and international funds. It also provided free business transaction, incorporation and governance, and regulatory compliance services to nonprofits and small businesses. Prior to becoming an attorney, Pantin was an elementary school teacher in Washington, D.C.
Qin Gao
Qin Gao
Qin Gao is a leading authority on the Chinese social system and founding director of Columbia University's China Center for Social Policy, the
Anti-Racist Education in Action: First Steps
Anti-Racist Education in Action: First Steps