Ready to burst, translated from the French by Kaiama L. Glover

Archipelago books

Brooklyn, 2014

bibliothèque insulaire

parutions 2014
Ready to burst / Frankétienne ; translated from the French by Kaiama L. Glover. - Brooklyn (N.Y.) : Archipelago books, 2014. - 162 p. ; 16x16 cm.
ISBN 978-1-935744-78-8
DESCRIPTION : Ready to Burst tells the tale of a young man's efforts to navigate the challenges of a deeply troubled society. The novel moves fluidly between his experiences and those of his alter ego, opening a window onto the absurd realities of a dictatorship. First published in 1968, Ready to Burst presents a sensitive critique of François Duvalier's suffocating regime and its consequences for a generation of young people in Haiti. The novel offers at once an exquisite verbal painting of life within a specific context of terror and a vivid exploration of love, hope, and the delicate membrane between reality and dream.
Born in 1936 in Ravine-Sèche, Haiti, Frankétienne is a prolific poet, novelist, visual artist, playwright and musician. He has devoted much of his life to fighting political oppression and, in 2009, was nominated for the Nobel Prize in Literature. In 2010, the French government nmed him a Commandeur de l'Ordre des Arts et des Lettres. Internationally renowned as an advocate for diversity and cultural dialogue, he has a unique writing style, often juggling French and Haitian Creole simultaneously. “ I am not afraid of chaos ”, Frankétienne explains, “ because chaos is the womb of light and life ”.
Kaiama L. Glover received a B.A. in French History and Literature and Afro-American Studies from Harvard University and a Ph.D. in French and Romance Philology from Columbia University. She is now an associate professor in French at Barnard College. Her book, Haiti Unbound : A Spiralist Challenge to the Postcolonial Canon (Liverpool UP, 2010), explores the Haitian Spiralist movement. She is currently translating Frankétienne's Ultravocal (Archipelago) and René Depestre's Hadriana dans tous mes rêves.
EXCERPT    Every day, I employ the dialect of untamed hurricanes. I speak the madness of opposing winds.

   Every evening, I use the patois of furious rains. I speak the rage of overflowing waters.

   Every night, I speak to the islands of the Caribbean in the language of hysterical storms. I speak the madness of the sea in heat.

   Dialect of hurricanes. Patois of rains. Language of storms. Unfolding of life in a spiral.

   In its essence, life is tension. Towards something. Towards someone. Towards oneself. Towards the point of maturation where the ancient and the new unravel. Death and birth. And every being finds itself — in part — in pursuit of its double. A pursuit that might even seem to bear the intensity of need, of desire, of infinite quest.

p. 8

  • « Mûr à crever », Port-au-Prince : Presses Port-au-princiennes (Spirale), 1968 ; Ed. Mémoire [avec une préface de Rodney Saint-Eloi], 1994
  • « Mûr à crever », Bordeaux : Ana Éditions, 2004
  • « Mûr à crever », Paris : Hoëbeke, 2013
  • avec Claude Dambreville, « L'Amérique saigne », Port-au-Prince : Imprimeur II, 1995
  • Kaiama L. Glover, « Haiti unbound : a spiralist challenge to the postcolonial canon », Liverpool : Liverpool university press (Contemporary French and francophone cultures, 15), 2010
Sur le site « île en île » : dossier Frankétienne

mise-à-jour : 7 juillet 2021
Frankétienne a reçu le Grand Prix du Livre Insulaire - Prix des Îles du Ponant (Ouessant 2005) pour son « Anthologie secrète » (Montréal, 2005) et, plus généralement, pour l'ensemble de son œuvre ; il est, en 2006, l'un des lauréats de la Fondation du prince Claus (Pays-Bas) et a été nommé, le 24 mars 2010, Artiste de l'UNESCO pour la paix ; il a reçu en 2021 le Grand Prix de la Francophonie décerné par l'Académie française.
Conversation entre Frankétienne et Philippe Bernard, à la suite du tremblement de terre du 12 janvier 2010
« Frankétienne se met à nu » : propos recueillis par Samanda Leroy et Lord Edwin Byron
Le Nouvelliste (Port-au-Prince) • 19 février 2013

Cover art : Frankétienne