Faculty Book: Édouard Glissant
The Fourth Century: A Novel
(Bison Books: University of Nebraska Press, 2001; 294 pp.)
This novel by one of the foundational figures of Francophone literature tells of the quest of its young hero, Mathieu Béluse, to learn the true—and unofficial—history of his homeland, the island of Martinique. He turns to an "old man of the forest," the healer, seer and storyteller Papa Longoué, who reconnects the tradition of oral history to the powers of the land the forces of nature. What the reader discovers is a long history of interaction between the Longoué family and the Béluse family—a love-hate relationship that is also marked by the fact that the Longoués were able to escape slavery and the Béluses not. This attractive reprint of a hardback edition of the translation by Betsy Wing, originally released in 1997, is sure to create new readers for Dr. Glissant, distinguished professor of French at The Graduate Center.
Purchase this book
Submitted on: APR 1, 2001