Introduction to a Poetics of Diversity

BookIntroduction to a Poetics of Diversity

Introduction to a Poetics of Diversity

by Édouard Glissant

The Glissant Translation Project, 1


June 2nd, 2020



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This book reproduces the texts of four lectures, followed by discussions, and two interviews with Lise Gauvin published in Introduction à une poétique du divers (1996); and also four further interviews from L’Imaginaire des langues (Lise Gauvin, 2010). It covers a wide range of topics but key recurring themes are creolization, language and langage, culture and identity, ‘monolingualism’, the ‘Chaos-world’ and the role of the writer. Migration and the various different kinds of migrants are also discussed, as is the difference between ‘atavistic’ and ‘composite’ communities, the art of translation, identity as a ‘rhizome’ rather than a single root, the Chaos-World and chaos theory, ‘trace thought’ as opposed to ‘systematic thought’, the relation between ‘place’ and the Whole-World, exoticism, utopias, a new definition of beauty as the realized quantity of differences, the status of literary genres and the possibility that literature as a whole will disappear. Four of the interviews (Chapters 6, 7, 8 and 9) relate to particular works that Glissant has published: Tout-monde, Le monde incrée, La Cohée du Lamentin, Une nouvelle région du monde. Many of these themes have been explored in his previous works, but here, because in all the chapters we see Glissant interacting with the questions and views of other people, they are presented in a particularly accessible form.

Author Information

Celia Britton is Emeritus Professor at University College London.