Liberation Journals Index
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Tropiques, “Revue Culturelle”

Fort-de-France, Martinique. 1941-1945


Aimé Césaire had the audacity to create a literary journal in 1941 when Martinique was under Vichy rule. Tropiques, whose eleven issues appeared between 1941-1945, was published in the midst of the Second World War. Its tone was urgent: “We can no longer afford to live as parasites within the world; rather, it is our duty to save it,” wrote Césaire in his inaugural editorial. “We know that Man’s salvation depends on us, too… Men of good will shall bring to the world a new light.” Suzanne Césaire was among the most active and outspoken of women contributors to early Pan-African journals; she published seven articles in Tropiques, including an essay on André Breton after his brief stay on the island. The journal was censored in 1943 by Lieutenant de Vaisseau Bayle and only resumed publication after the fall of Vichy.



A single-volume reprint edition containing the eleven original issues (three of which are double issues,) an interview with Aimé Césaire and a preface by René Ménil was published in 1978 by Jean-Michel Place.



Arnold, A. James. Modernism and negritude: the poetry and poetics of Aimé Césaire. Cambridge: Harvard UP, 1981.

Kesteloot, Lylian. Les Écrivains noirs de langue française: naissance d'une littérature. Bruxelles: Université libre de Bruxelles, 1965.

Städtler, Katharina. “Genèse de la littérature afro-francophone en France entre les années 1940 et 1950.” Mots Pluriels no 8, 1998.

Taoua, Phyllis. Forms of protest: anti-colonialism and avant-gardes in Africa , the Caribbean , and France . Portsmouth: Heinemann, 2002.