Poetics of Relation · Rhizome (philosophy) ·. Influences[show]. Aimé Césaire · Frantz Fanon ·. Influenced[show]. Barbara Cassin ·. Édouard Glissant (21 September – 3 February ) was a French writer, poet. Poetics of Relation [Edouard Glissant, Betsy Wing] on *FREE* shipping on qualifying offers. Édouard Glissant, long recognized in the French and. In , he published his most recognized essay, Poètique de la Relation ( Poetics of Relation), wherein his philosophy towards languages and.

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If, as Glissant supposes, we cannot help but ponder our place in the world, such thoughts cannot avoid the realisation that our contemporary reality is one of accelerating multiplicity: To achieve this, Glissant incants the state of Relation: As his translator Betsy Wing notes, Glissant constantly destabilises French, creating new linguistic formulations in order to mimic the transformations of a living language and the collisions of culture that he sees as productive of Relation.

As glissatn, it is a perilous task to attempt to pin down his theory of Relation into a concise summary. Nevertheless, proceeding with caution one can note that the encounter with the Other is central to the emergence of Relation.

Édouard Glissant – Wikipedia

For Glsisant, all identity is produced and extended in relation to the Other. It is through the meeting and clashing of cultures that they evolve, creating the circumstances for Relation: As Relation is the result of encounter with the Other, it remains engaged in a complex relationship with the atavistic identity and its attendant colonial oppressions. It is only through the spread of the atavistic identity that the encounters that lead to Relation are made possible.


Thus, Relation has its genesis in the hulls of slave ships crossing the Atlantic, while poetlcs atavistic identity contains within it the antinomies that create the preconditions for the emergent subject positions that would eventually undermine its unified identity.

Glissant is careful not to suggest Relation as a counter, but equally dualistic identity position.

Édouard Glissant

This poses certain difficulties, for Glissant recognises the value of stable identity positions as the sites potics decolonial resistance. Relation is an attempt to move beyond the dialectic positions that such identities have tended to assume such as Negritude, Historical Marronage or even Aboriginalityrecognising that such subject positions are necessarily limited from the very beginning by assuming subject position made available only in opposition to the oppressor.

For Glissant, identity construction enforces the sense of Relation, but this self-realisation is not enough, it requires the realisation of Relation. As it is open to all possible particulars, creolization necessarily excludes the possibility of futurity. For Glissant, futurity re,ation one of the driving forces of the atavistic identity, which reaches exhaustion in Relation.

Poetics of Relation

While concluding that the age of classicism is past for all cultures, [15] the podtics of this antinomic relationship between Relation and the era that precedes it, suggests that Glissant is not only interested in defining the contemporary situation, poeticz also in revising our understanding of modernity. Despite its elusiveness, Relation provides a most useful framework for considering decolonial identity beyond the polar terms of resistance or submission to the dominant colonial power.


Instead of fixed places of origin, he offers sites of connectivity, where multiple histories and ways of being can coexist.

Instead of roots, he offers the dynamic process of creolization, a poetics defined by its openness to transformation.

Instead of a world of nations, he offers the archipelago, an image of the world in which we are all connected while remaining distinct. Betsy Wing Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press, University of Michigan Press, Australian Film Commission, You are commenting using your WordPress.

Poetics of Relation

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