In the burgeoning field of Glissant scholarship there has not been to date an extended and critical study of two crucial aspects of this multi-faceted authors output: the philosophical dimension of Glissants own work, and his engagement with theMoreIn the burgeoning field of Glissant scholarship there has not been to date an extended and critical study of two crucial aspects of this multi-faceted authors output: the philosophical dimension of Glissants own work, and his engagement with the work of the French philosopher Gilles Deleuze.
This project focuses on Glissant not only as a writer of fiction, but also as a participant in and commentator upon the discourse of French twentieth century philosophy in the context of his position as a Martinican writer of literature and critical theory.
Focusing on the moments in Glissants work where he has undertaken a rethinking of the relationship of literature to political change, I explore how Glissant has appropriated, supplemented, and at times departed from Deleuzes thinking. Chapters focus on Glissants points of intersection with some of the lingering problems of French twentieth century philosophy: the figure of difference and the ethical implications of engaging with otherness that are presented in Glissants work, Glissants conception of literatures relationship to life, his approach to totality and globalization (the Tout-monde), and his use of the topos of desire in a post-psychoanalytic context.
I explain why it is that Glissants departures from the trajectories of Deleuze and Guattaris thinking, and his turn to concepts, problems and topics that are more properly his own, prove to be necessary, given the long-term preoccupations of his literary and theoretical output. Throughout, I ask whether Glissants ideas, and particularly those that revolve around the political dimension and the world-changing potential of writing, meet the lofty goals they set for themselves.
In this analysis, Glissant proves to be a thinker who intentionally privileges and utilizes tension, ambiguity, and lasting contradiction. Finally, in order to offset the critical dimension of the dissertation, I suggest that Glissants work may be read as a source of, or spur to, creation of new perspectives and new ways of thinking with regard to a set of problems haunting the contemporary literary-critical scene.