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From Classical French Poet to Militant Haitian Statesman: The Early Years and Poetry of the Baron de Vastey
Marlene L. Daut
Research in African Literatures
Vol. 43, No. 1 (Spring 2012), pp. 35-57
Published by: Indiana University Press
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/10.2979/reseafrilite.43.1.35
Page Count: 23
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ABSTRACT This article reconsiders the Baron de Vastey's œœuvre in light of new information that proves that he led a vibrant career as a classical French poet in metropolitan France before becoming a Haitian statesman. Because little is known about Vastey's childhood and adolescence, few scholars are aware that before he became perhaps the most well-known statesman of postindependence Haiti, he was a classical French poet who espoused peaceful sentiments, but uttered nary a word about the problems of colonialism and slavery. As a result of the very existence of these poems, literary critics and historians of the Black Atlantic will no doubt have to reconsider their assessments of the poet turned statesman whom the French Revolution taught to consider violence as an awful bourgeois indulgence, but for whom the Haitian Revolution was considered to be the only protection against the tyranny of colonialism.
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