Présence Francophone: Revue internationale de langue et de littérature


There seems to be a strange parallel between the vegetable kingdom in which Patrick Chamoiseau sets his Biblique des derniers gestes and the way the narrative is being played out. The mangrove, with its entangled roots and stems, constitutes a perfect image of the novel, whose multiple branches are no longer anchored in any reality or in a centralised system, but seem moved by a principle which we could call “bibliotropic”, since in Biblique one could easily find traces of Perse, García Márquez, Glissant, Césaire and even of Rabelais. But certain “stems” are more difficult to track within this dense forest of quotations: for example, the strange relationship which exists between Chamoiseau’s hero, Balthazar Bodule-Jules, and Babo, the masterslave in Herman Melville’s short story, Benito Cerreno.



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