Aimé Césaire's place in world literature today is due in large part to the many translators who have struggled to render his often hermetic writing into other languages, including English, German, Spanish, Portuguese, Italian, Dutch, Swedish, and Japanese. Some of the best translations into English, those by the team of Eshleman and Smith, now appear in large collections of world literature used in courses around the world, most notably his long and explosive poem Cahier d'un retour au pays natal (Notebook of a Return to the Native Land), first published in the journal Volontés in August 1939.1 Matching these efforts to make Césaire's writing available to a global audience, beginning with the first translation of Cahier d'un retour au pays natal in 1947 by Ivan Goll and Lionel Abel, are Césaire's own attempts on a micro scale to bring two poems by African American poets to the...

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