Faculty Book: Édouard Glissant

Édouard Glissant and Alexandre Leupin

Les Entretiens de Bâton Rouge
(Gallimard, 2008)

In 1990-91, while teaching at the University of Baton-Rouge, Louisiana, Édouard Glissant participated in a series of conversations with his medievalist colleague Alexandre Leupin. These conversations reveal his long-standing opposition to systems of thought and to fixed ideologies, as well as his interest in what philosophers generally scorn—landscapes, the blues, minorities. He envisages the collision between the European Middle-Ages and the reign of Louis XIV as a drama between two concepts of the world: the language of rationality at its height—a system of thought transmitted by Catholicism—versus Creolization—epitomized by Rabelais, Montaigne, and the Pléiade poets—which introduced and developed critical thought, secularism, the legal system, democracy, the abolition of slavery, the rights of man and woman. Throughout his personal story, Édouard Glissant exalts literature and particularly poetry which escapes the doctrine of determinism, develops the idea of “eccentric” thought, and seeks what is new and amazing in the story of human and cultural relationships today. Édouard Glissant is a distinguished professor of French at the Graduate Center.

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Submitted on: APR 10, 2008

Category: Faculty Books, French