Tuesday, February 7, 2017

CSI: A Tempest by Amie Cesaire

CSI: A Tempest by Aime Cesaire (1969)
Translated by Richard Miller (1992)
Zoe Roth, Julia Rowley

    Aime Cesaire
-Poet and politician from Martinique, a French colony
-Other works: Discourse on Colonialism
    -Established a provocative direct link between colonialism and fascism
-Mayor of Fort-de-France, ran under the Communist party
-Later resigned because he felt communism made racism a subordinate issue to class struggle
-In french; 1969 Hammamet, Tunisia and 1970 Paris.
    -1992 Pennont in Martinique kept Eshu on stage the whole time.
    -Negritude: “The first diasporic ‘black pride’ movement”(pg vii)
-Surrealism: ideals or practice of producing fantastic imagery or effects in art by means of unnatural or irrational juxtapositions and combinations.
- Marxism: Wanted to get rid of social and economic classes and materialism.
    -1946, Martinique joined France under their Overseas department instead of gaining independence.
    -1960’s Civil Rights movement in America. (Some compare Malcolm X to Caliban and Martin Luther King Jr. to Ariel)

-New character, Master of ceremonies and black devil-god.
        -From Yoruba Nigerian/Latin American mythology
        -Harsher and chaotic unlike other spirits
        -Yoruba deity of thunder, chaotic nature theme
        -Caliban changes his name because it loses meaning when Prospero says it.
        -“Uhuru” means freedom in Swahili
        -”Cannibal” or “Hannibal” (pg 20)
        -Fowl language, especially Eshu, and the drunks
        -’Ghetto’ and how Prospero vs Caliban see the caves
        -Caliban cares for the earth, calls Prospero Anti-Nature
        -Prospero sees the land as riches to use, as do the royals
        -Relates to colonization and just using resources
    Prospero directs
        -The tempest is personified as a character with a part in the “play”
-Prospero enters with megaphone, “It’s only a play” (pg 12)
        -Puts on the wedding show then it gets crashed by Eshu
        -Eshu is the real director, “Master of Ceremonies”
        -Translator includes own ideas for tunes
        -Direct translations in the back of the book
        -Caliban chants instead of sings
        -Explicitly says Ariel is mulatto while Caliban and Eshu are black
        - The 3 characters who are slaves and ‘lesser’ (excludes Miranda)
        -”Your ‘white’ magic!” Caliban to Prospero (pg 60)       
-Often used as another example of the lack of civilization displayed by Caliban, an exorcism is suggested
-Introduces another dimension of responsibility and forgiveness: the difference between attrition and contrition is discussed (pg 35)

Death of a Salesman by Arthur Miller (1949)
-“Once you’ve squeezed the juice from the orange, you toss the rind away” Caliban to Prospero (pg 19)
-”You can’t eat the orange and throw the peel away — a man is not a piece of fruit!” Lowman to his boss after being fired.
Rosencrantz & Guildenstern are Dead (1967)/ Waiting for Godot (1952)
-Trinculo and Stephano are both useless, especially drunk
-Go back and forth but don’t do anything helpful
-”I can’t take anymore… I’m going to sit down!” Trinculo to Stephano (pg 54)
-Estragon sits down on the mound. Vladimir paces agitatedly to and fro, halting from time to time to gaze into distance off.” Waiting for Godot
Uncle Tom’s Cabin by Harriet Beecher Stowe (1852)
    -Racism and slavery (pg 26)
Hannibal the Cannibal, novel series (1981)
    Came after A Tempest. Probably just rhymes and historical Hannibal.
    -Hannibal from Carthage, on the most renowned military generals in history.
“Vox populi, vox Dei” (pg 44)
    “The voice of the people, the voice of God”
    -Common phrase about political wisdom
The Odyssey
    References to Ulysses, Cyclops, and Nausicaa
    -Uses the Latin translation of the language
    -Adds a different dimension to the relationship between Ferdinand and Miranda
    -Cesaire was inspired by Epic Heroes

Works Cited
    Césaire, Aimé. A tempest: based on Shakespeare's The tempest, adaptation for a Black theatre. Trans. Richard Miller. New York: TCG Translations, 2002. Print.
Cesaire’s’ Une Tempete at The Gate (pdf)
Green, Victoria. "A Tempest Themes of African Mythology and Referencing Civil Rights Activist." Theater 271. Web. 06 Feb. 2017.
Iiwinc. "History of Martinique." Martinique History. Caribya, n.d. Web. 06 Feb. 2017.

No comments:

Post a Comment