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Aimé Césaire

Datum narození: 26. červen 1913
Datum úmrtí: 17. duben 2008

Aimé Césaire, celým jménem Aimé Fernand David Césaire , byl martinický francouzsky píšící básník a politik, jeden z nejvlivnějších černošských intelektuálů 20. století. Spolu s Léopoldem Sédarem Senghorem ze Senegalu je nejznámějším představitelem literárního a duchovního hnutí négritude.


„Na konci slepé uličky jménem Evropa, jíž míním Evropu Adenauerovu, Schumanovu… a několika dalších, stojí Hitler. Na konci kapitalismu, jenž touží nikdy nezemřít, stojí Hitler.“

„Beware, my body and my soul, beware above all of crossing your arms and assuming the sterile attitude of the spectator, for life is not a spectacle, a sea of griefs is not a proscenium, and a man who wails is not a dancing bear.“ Notebook of a Return to the Native Land


„Yes, it would be worthwhile to study clinically, in detail, the steps taken by Hitler and Hitlerism and to reveal to the very distinguished, very humanistic, very Christian bourgeois of the twentieth century that without his being aware of it, he has a Hitler inside him, that Hitler inhabits him, that Hitler is his demon, that if he rails against him, he is being inconsistent and that, at bottom, what he cannot forgive Hitler for is not crime in itself, the crime against man, it is not the humiliation of man as such, it is the crime against the white man, the humiliation of the white man, and the fact that he applied to Europe colonialist procedures which until then had been reserved exclusively for the Arabs of Algeria, the coolies of India, and the blacks of Africa.“ Discourse on Colonialism

„A man screaming is not a dancing bear. Life is not a spectacle.“ Notebook of a Return to the Native Land

„I would rediscover the secret of great communications and great combustions. I would say storm. I would say river. I would say tornado. I would say leaf. I would say tree. I would be drenched by all rains, moistened by all dews. I would roll like frenetic blood on the slow current of the eye of words turned into mad horses into fresh children into clots into curfew into vestiges of temples into precious stones remote enough to discourage miners. Whoever would not understand me would not understand any better the roaring of a tiger.“

„What am I driving at? At this idea: that no one colonizes innocently, that no one colonizes with impunity either; that a nation which colonizes, that a civilization which justifies colonization—and therefore force—is already a sick civilization, a civilization which is morally diseased, which irresistibly, progressing from one consequence to another, one denial to another, calls for its Hitler, I mean its punishment.“ Discourse on Colonialism

„A civilization that proves incapable of solving the problems it creates is a decadent civilization.
A civilization that chooses to close its eyes to its most crucial problems is a stricken civilization.
A civilization that uses its principles for trickery and deceit is a dying civilization.“

„Whether one likes it or not, the bourgeoisie, as a class, is condemned to take responsibility for all the barbarism of history, the tortures of the Middle Ages and the Inquisition, warmongering and the appeal to the raison d’Etat, racism and slavery, in short everything against which it protested in unforgettable terms at the time when, as the attacking class, it was the incarnation of human progress.“ Discourse on Colonialism


„ma chère penchons sur les filons géologiques
(my dear let us lean on geographical veins)“

„And if all I know how to do is speak, it is for you that I shall speak. My lips shall speak for miseries that have no mouth, my voice shall be the liberty of those who languish in the dungeon of despair… And above all my body as well as my soul, beware of folding your arms in the sterile attitude of spectator, for life is not a spectacle, for a sea of pain is not a proscenium.“ Notebook of a Return to the Native Land

„Prospero, you are the master of illusion.
Lying is your trademark.
And you have lied so much to me
(Lied about the world, lied about me)
That you have ended by imposing on me
An image of myself.
Underdeveloped, you brand me, inferior,
That s the way you have forced me to see myself
I detest that image! What’s more, it’s a lie!
But now I know you, you old cancer,
And I know myself as well.“
A Tempest

„Il y a encore une mer à traverser
oh encore une mer à traverser
pour que j'invente mes poumons
pour que le prince se taise
pour que la reine me baise
encore un vieillard à assassiner
un fou à délivrer
pour que mon âme luise aboie luise
aboie aboie aboie
et que hulule la chouette mon bel ange curieux.“


„like the scorpion's question mark
drawn in the pollen on the canvas of the sky and of our brains at midnight“

„In light of recent events—genocide in East Africa, the collapse of democracy throughout the continent, the isolation of Cuba, the overthrow of progressive movements throughout the so-called third world—some might argue that the moment of truth has already passed, that Césaire and Fanon’s predictions proved false. We’re facing an era where fools are calling for a renewal of colonialism, where descriptions of violence and instability draw on the very colonial language of “barbarism” and “backwardness” that Césaire critiques in these pages. But this is all a mystification; the fact is, while colonialism in its formal sense might have been dismantled, the colonial state has not. Many of the problems of democracy are products of the old colonial state whose primary difference is the presence of black faces. It has to do with the rise of a new ruling class—the class Fanon warned us about—who are content with mimicking the colonial masters“ Discourse on Colonialism

„There are a whole lot of things
whose names I do not know
and I’d like to tell you about them
in the sky your hair solemnly draws away
kinds of rain one no longer sees
nuts Saint Elmo’s fire
sun lames whispered nights
cathedrals too
which are the carcasses
of large gnawed horses
spat by the sea from far away
but still worshiped by people
a whole lot of forgotten things
a whole lot of dreamed things“
Lost Body

„the forest remembers that the last word can only be
the flaming cry of the bird of ruins in the bowl of the storm“

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