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Inside the Barrel

Brent HayesEdwards: The French Slave Trade, 10 September 2009

Memoires des esclavages: la fondation d’un centre national pour la memoire des esclavages et de leurs abolitions 
by Edouard Glissant.
Gallimard, 192 pp., €14.90, May 2007, 978 2 07 078554 4
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The French Atlantic Triangle: Literature and Culture of the Slave Trade 
by Christopher Miller.
Duke, 571 pp., £20.99, March 2008, 978 0 8223 4151 2
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... In May 2001, the French National Assembly passed a law, the Loi Taubira (named after Christiane Taubira, the Socialist deputy who sponsored the bill), recognising the Atlantic slave trade as a ‘crime against humanity’. France is, as a result, the only country in the world that has condemned slavery in the name of human rights. The law was controversial not only for its seeming admission of national ‘guilt’, as some critics put it, but also because it appeared to prescribe a state policy on the presentation of the past: Article Two required that the slave trade and slavery be taken into account in education policy and research funding ...

Report from Sirius B

Jeremy Harding: ‘Phantom Africa’, 22 March 2018

Phantom Africa 
by Michel Leiris, translated by Brent HayesEdwards.
Seagull, 711 pp., £42, January 2017, 978 0 85742 377 1
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... His journal is now available in an elegant translation with notes and an introduction by Brent HayesEdwards, professor of English and comparative literature at Columbia. It is a magnificent book. Edwards has kept the apparatus of the key French editions, including ...

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