Homage to Carl Brouard by Roger Gaillard, 4 Nov. 1965

DownloadOmaj a Carl Brouard, pa Roger Gaillard, 4 novanm 1965


Historian and writer Roger Gaillard traces the career of poet Carl Brouard, on the occasion of Brouard’s death. Gaillard identifies four major stages in Brouard’s career. He begins with the early “intimiste” stage of Brouard’s writing, and continues to the “indigéniste” stage, which began in 1927 with the founding of the Revue Indigéniste by Brouard, Émile Roumer, and Jacques Roumain. During this period, Brouard wrote about women – working women, dark-skinned women, women who came from the masses, rather than the upper class. He wrote of Africa, and the idea of Africa, with the intent of scandalizing the Haitian bourgeoisie. Gaillard refers to Brouard’s language during this time as “a swig of rum that burns your throat, that heats up your head, a swig of rum that ultimately does you good.” Gaillard then moves on to the third period, which he terms the “Griots” period. During this period, in the 1930s, Brouard wrote about Africa – not an idealized Africa, but an Africa devastated by colonialism. Gaillard then discusses the fourth and final period of Brouard’s life and career, from 1940 to his death more than twenty years later. Gaillard does not yet know what to call this period, so he will just call it “early senility” (senilité précoce). Brouard wrote little in this period, and renounced his own previous work. Gaillard concludes with some admiration and much regret, speaking of “the secret of a life, the meaning of a life, the failure of a life.”

“To speak of the language of Carl: it is a shot of rum that burns the throat, heats up the head, and finally, it is a shot of rum that does you good.”

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