tomorrow, Sunday, will be awarded in Stockholm, a replacement price replacement for the default price literature Nobel. As a result, the award has great symbolic significance, although it is undoped. But to understand who is honored, one must look elsewhere than to Stockholm.
In the Place de la Victoire, in the heart of the old town of Pointe-à-Pitre is a small octagonal music pavilion, which entered the history of literature in Guadeloupe. The writer Maryse Condé, in 1937, in the capital of the French Caribbean island of born, put it at a Meeting at the pavilion this way: “Here the paths of my mother and my grandmother separated. Here are the search of my own origin began.“ Shortly before that, her novel-biography was published about the grandmother. “Victoire’ is, by far, the most painful of my books,” noted the sometimes unshakable acting author pensive.
pride, as a means of social distinction
Victoire, a Creole from the simplest of circumstances, had a couple of streets away as a cook in a white family, and the sugar cane Bourgeoisie worked. “Victoire, 1890 visited with her mistress for the first time, a public concert here in the pavilion, it was a scandal that could be on the next day in the newspaper read!” so Condé. Victoire’s daughter, Jeanne, the mother of the author, saw her mother eighteen years later, with their employers again at the pavilion to sit, and ignored this “mindless Vasallin” pointedly, because the cook-holders, still the former slave under ordered. As one of the first black high school teacher of the interior of the island, the only effective means was pride for Condés mother of social distinction.
The obsessive contempt of their parents to anyone who was not one of the emerging coloured middle-class, it turns out, in retrospect, as a leitmotif of the Condés literature and the search for identity. With sixteen years, which is equally as talented as rebellious schoolgirl went to Paris to study. Aimé césaire’s “discourse on colonialism” and Frantz Fanon’s “Black skin, white masks,” shook her self-understanding: “I discovered that my roots are in Africa and I was raised as a white French woman, of parents who were blind to this conflict. We Black thought: France wants us to, we are not a real French, so we have to go. Us at the time, lacked the courage to take the colonial lie in the word.“
hostility against the educated Creole
The search for the roots of their ancestors from the time of slavery ended in a bitter disappointment. More than ten years spent with Condé as a French teacher in West Africa, and experienced in the course of the independence movement, extreme poverty and political Chaos: “In Guinea the dictator Sikou Touré gave on the Radio Sunday talking about the Marxist Revolution, while the masses of people died of Hunger.” These experiences shape your memory of the country in which you married and four had children, in a sustainable way. “I tried to be Guineerin to be African. It is not I have succeeded.“ The racist hostility to which she was exposed to as an educated single Creole in Africa, and the requirement to integrate into a traditionally influenced society, felt Condé as an absurd imposition.
According to her thesis about “Black Stereotypes in Caribbean literature” taught in the seventies at the Sorbonne. A dark-skinned lecturer at the venerable Institution, which was at that time still caused a stir; the belligerent rebellion against imposed identity pattern was to drive more than ever, Condés spring. With her debut Novel “Heremakhonon – hold on to the happiness,” wrote the former Marxist, finally, at the age of forty-one years ago, a barely encrypted indictment of the totalitarian Regime in Guinea. Her two-volume Mali-epic “followed by” you proved their first championship in the atmospherically dense narrative of complex historical contexts, made Condé 1984 author famous. A year later, she took a teaching job at Columbia University in New York. Eight of its twenty-one novels have since been published in German, including “island of the past,” the turmoil of the post-colonial society in Guadeloupe and “I, Tituba, black witch of Salem,” about a racist witch-hunt in new England.