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Discourse on Colonialism is an essay by Aimé Césaire, a poet and politician from Martinique who helped found the négritude movement in Francophone. Half a century later Aimé Césaire’s Discourse on Colonialism has lost nothing of its dynamism and incantory power. Robin Kelley’s introduction is a valuable tool. Aime Cesaire – Discourse on Colonialism By Baba G. Jallow Cesaire begins his Discourse on Colonialism with a severe indictment of Western civilization.

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It should have been oclonialism for a well-informed man in to see that country for what it was. I’m not sure if it’s because of the time period, the French language, or because he’s brilliant, But this is what I’m talking about, this non-fiction is the type of non-fiction I like.

Cesaite bon arbre porte de bons fruits, mais le mauvais arbre porte de mauvais fruits. The result is Mannoni Morrison echoes these effects in Beloved, the white, when he looks at the slave as an animal- an ape, himself becomes an ape.

Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read. We pretend, and some really are, shocked by Trump-ism today, but we only fool ourselves.

Monthly Review | Discourse on Colonialism

But why does Hitler get all the attention? Just a moment while we sign you in to your Goodreads account. Discourse on Colonialism is a brilliant starter to learn about how it affects people and how the colonizers treat the colonized. The very idea was an oxymoron. The book itself is not without flaws, but it helped to spark a movement, of peoples rising up and a radical change in intellectual discourse.

To calm his conscience born out of tortures rendered to the colonized or the mass killinghe considers the colonized as mere animal. He cites the Soviet Union as a possible source of post-colonial liberation. I honestly feel odd reviewing this, because how do you review this?


Of course, there remain a few small facts that resist this doctrine. Inhe helped Martinique shed its colonial status and become an overseas department of France.

Log In Sign Up. To wit, the appearance of rationalism in Islam at a time when Western thought had a furiously pre-logical cast to it. From inside the book. For the colonized it is a humiliation and a perennial fall into the inferiority complex.

Feb 21, Rana rated it it was amazing. Cesaire repeats that in exposing the Hitler element in the practice of colonialism, he is simply saying that colonialism is a willful act of barbarism that is perpetrated not with impunity, but with a very heavy conscience.

It’s a very short read, but very powerful. Oct 03, Zulqarnain Ali Zaki rated it it was amazing Shelves: Free and French in the Caribbean: Later when Hitler took the same measures of treatment reserved for the colonized to the white people of Europe, the Europeans could not understand. 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, war-mongering and the appeal to the raison d’Etat, racism and slavery, in short, everything against which it protested in unforgettable terms at a time when, as the attacking class, it was the incarnation of human progress” p.

But before then, they did not call it Nazism or Fascism. It was a really nice and simple style used to describe and analyse a question that long has been on top.

Discourse on Colonialism

Colonialism – French colonialism in particular – Cesaire argues, could only contemplate the idea of other cultures being integrated into the French family. These little nitpicks do not detract from the overall strength of his feeling. Particularly interesting in the light of the history of the later twentieth century, he warns Europe that without eliminating colonialism and allying with the decolonized countries the Europeans themselves will become part of a new American Empire.


It is about old tyrants cooperating with new ones to further oppress the people; about proleterarianization and mystification. This essay is a precursor to the powerful writings of Franz Fanon, Edward Said and many other post-colonial writers. This was originally published in French in — an earlier version in — right at the beginning of the anti-colonial movement which followed World War II.

How is it that it hasn’t been pressed into my hands by dozens of friends?

My main point is that non-fiction is a genre of literature that I find hard to read due to the way it’s written, I usually prefer historical fiction that is well researched.

That’s something cfsaire can briefly Google, but Google shouldn’t be your main historical source. Discourse on Colonialism French: Simply clothed in decent clothes. Dec 22, Hussain Laghabi rated it it was amazing Shelves: Love his honestly poignant style too, interested in reading more.

Want to Read saving…. That aside, the moral clarity and righteous indignation on display here make it a timeless, worthwhile essay. Besides, Cesaire also says that colonization results in dehumanizing both the colonizer and the colonized. I’m still working on finishing that book, so thoroughly did Cesaire take over my attention.