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CinepoetryImaginary Cinemas in French Poetry$
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Christophe Wall-Romana

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780823245482

Published to Fordham Scholarship Online: May 2013

DOI: 10.5422/fordham/9780823245482.001.0001

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Max Jeanne's Western

Max Jeanne's Western

Eschatological Sarcasm in the Postcolony

Chapter:
(p.312) (p.313) Chapter Eleven Max Jeanne's Western
Source:
Cinepoetry
Author(s):

Christophe Wall-Romana

Publisher:
Fordham University Press
DOI:10.5422/fordham/9780823245482.003.0012

This chapter examines two cinepoetic works of the early postcolonial era (1955-1971) to show that cinepoetry was invoked for yet another purpose besides utopian experimentation and poststraumatic healing: imaginary justice. Black-Label (1956) by Négritude poet Léon-Gontran Damas from French Guyana is read together with Western (1971) by Guadeloupean exile poet Max Jeanne, both of which deal through imaginary films with the legacy of slavery and segregation in the Americas. These two works aim at suggesting an eschatological purview so as to overcome the montage of historical truth edited by colonial powers into a film they control. The sarcasm of the former work—which translates slavery into the traffic of cattle and the murder of American Indians in Hollywood westerns—serves to return to the etymological root of the word, from Greek sarkhos, ‘flesh.’ Paradoxically then, eschatology is less a realm of final ends than of liberated bodies in an imaginary film.

Keywords:   Léon-Gontran Damas, Max Jeanne, Guadeloupe, French Guyana, Carib, Racism, Eschatology, Sarcasm, Hiroshima mon amour

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