Aime Cesaire (June 26, 1913 - April 17, 2008)
Born: 26th June, 1913
Died: 17th April, 2008
Nationality: French
Profession/Occupation: Poet
Region: Martinique, Fort-de-France
Notable works: "The Tragedy of King Christophe", "A Season in the Congo"

Aime Cesaire Facts


Aime Cesaire, in full Aime-Fernand-David Cesaire, (born June 26, 1913, Basse-Pointe, Mart.--died April 17, 2008, Fort-de-France), Martinican poet, playwright, and politician, who was cofounder with Leopold Sedar Senghor of Negritude, an influential movement to restore the cultural identity of black Africans.

Together with Senghor and others involved in the Negritude movement, Cesaire was educated in Paris. In the early 1940s he returned to Martinique and engaged in political action supporting the decolonization of the French colonies of Africa. In 1945 he became mayor of Fort-de-France, the capital of Martinique, and he retained that position until 2001 (he was briefly out of office in 1983-84). In 1946 Cesaire became a deputy for Martinique in the French National Assembly. Viewing the plight of the blacks as only one facet of the proletarian struggle, he joined the Communist Party (1946-56). He found that Surrealism, which freed him from the traditional forms of language, was the best expression for his convictions. He voiced his ardent rebellion in a French that was heavy with African imagery. In the fiery poems of Cahier d'un retour au pays natal (1939; Return to My Native Land) and Soleil cou-coupe (1948; "Cutthroat Sun"), he lashed out against the oppressors.

Cesaire turned to the theatre, discarding Negritude for black militancy. His tragedies are vehemently political: La Tragedie du Roi Christophe (1963; The Tragedy of King Christophe), a drama of decolonization in 19th-century Haiti, and Une Saison au Congo (1966; A Season in the Congo), the epic of the 1960 Congo rebellion and of the assassination of the Congolese political leader Patrice Lumumba. Both depict the fate of black power as forever doomed to failure.

Top 4 Aime Cesaire quotes

I have a different idea of a universal. It is of a universal rich with all that is particular, rich with all the particulars there are, the deepening of each particular, the coexistence of them all.
It is no use painting the foot of the tree white, the strength of the bark cries out from beneath the paint.
Poetic knowledge is born in the great silence of scientific knowledge.
Scientific knowledge
Reason, I sacrifice you to the evening breeze.

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