DOI: 10.30687/tol/2499-5975/2023/01/017 ISSN: 2499-5975

Analyse sémantique de la liberté de Stella à la Niña Estrellita

Silvia Boraso
  • General Materials Science

A novelist and intellectual that shaped with his writings the twentieth-century Francophone literary panorama, Jacques Stephen Alexis is a writer who needs no introduction. In his theorization of the novel, Alexis has had the great merit, among other things, of recognizing the role played by the first Haitian novelists in the evolution of the country’s literary production. Although he – like most critics, by the way – passes a very negative judgment on certain authors, Alexis nevertheless manages to overcome the tenacious prejudice of their alleged lack of Haitianity and pays tribute to their works, whose literary value has long been overlooked. One example among many: when one speaks of the origins of Haitian literature, one must, for obvious historical reasons, cite Stella (1859), the first novel written by a Haitian writer; however, the specialists who have been able to go beyond this mere historical dimension have been few. Alexis, on the other hand, has gone so far as to claim that it is “the bold beginning of marvellous realism”. Without going so far as to consider Stella as the first example of réalisme merveilleux, this article will draw on Alexis’s critical reflection and focus on the possibility of identifying common elements between his prose and Bergeaud’s. In particular, it will propose a cross-reading of Stella and L’Espace d’un cillement based on the figure of the two heroines, Stella and La Niña Estrellita respectively, and establish a kind of semantic continuity based on the image of freedom, an image they are the embodiment of.

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