Jean Joseph Rabearivelo

Jean-Joseph Rabearivelo (1901-1937) is widely considered to be Africa's first modern poet. Born Joseph-Casimir, on March 4, 1901 in Tananarive (now Antananarivo), the capital of Madagascar, just five years after the island nation had become a French colony, he was the only child of an unwed mother whose family wealth had been lost. At the age of 13, he was expelled from the College Saint-Michel for refusing to join the religious order; after briefly attending public school, he abandoned formal education and began working at various petty jobs which colonial society offered. In 1924 he began work as a proofreader at the Imprimerie de l'Imerina, and though he was employed without pay for the first two years, he kept this low paying job for the rest of his life.To its credit, the printing house published several of Rabearivelo's books in limited editions, whish was probably reason enoughfor him to stay there. In 1926, Rabearivelo married Mary Razafitrimo, an African photographer's daughter, together they had five children.In debt throughout his life, and even jailed for it, his financial woes were an admixture of low wages, gambling, a love for acquiring books, and a sweet tooth for opium. A voracious reader, and primarily self-taught, he edited anthologies of Malagasypoetry and was involved in two literary periodicals, "18 Latitude Sud" and "Capricorne". Of about 20 literary works accounted for,including poetry, plays, fiction, and literary criticism, it appears that only half of his works were published at the time of his death. On the afternoon of June 23, 1937, after having dispatched letters of farewell, Rabearivelo took his own life with cyanide, faithfully recording his final moments in his "Calepins Bleu (Blue Notebooks)", a personal journal of some 1,800 pages.

His work shows an affinity with both the Symbolist and Surrealist poets, while remaining strongly grounded in the geography and folkloric life of Madagascar. He absorbed French colonialist aspirations of being a Frenchman as well as a Malagasy, but was denied the opportunity to live and write in Paris. Rabearivelo despaired after that refusal and committed suicide in 1937.Complete works are:

*"La coupe de cendres" (1924)
*"Sylves" (1927)
*"Volumes" (1928)
*"Enfants d'Orphée" (1931)
*"Presque-Songes" (1934)
*"Traduit de la Nuit" (1935)
*"Imaitsoanala" (1935)
*"Chants pour Abéone" (1936).

The first complete English translation of his masterpiece "Translated from the Night",translated by Robert Ziller, was published by Lascaux Editions (www.LascauxEditions.com)in 2007.

External links

* [http://www.bookrags.com/biography-jean-joseph-rabearivelo/index.html Short biography in English] (Bookrags).
* [http://www.lehman.cuny.edu/ile.en.ile/paroles/rabearivelo.html Jean-Joseph Rabearivelo] , presentation of author (in French) by Claire Riffard, with bibliography and works of criticism ("île en île").


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  • Jean-Joseph Rabéarivelo — Jean Joseph Rabearivelo Jean Joseph Rabearivelo, né Joseph Casimir (4 mars 1901, Tananarive aujourd hui Antananarivo 22 juin 1937, Tananarive), est un poète malgache, considéré comme le premier poète africain moderne. Il naquit dans la capitale… …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Jean Joseph Rabearivelo — Jean Joseph Rabearivelo, né Joseph Casimir (4 mars 1901, Tananarive aujourd hui Antananarivo 22 juin 1937, Tananarive), est un poète malgache, considéré comme le premier poète africain moderne. Il naquit dans la capitale de Madagascar juste cinq… …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Jean-Joseph Rabéarivelo — Jean Joseph Rabearivelo (* 4. März 1901 in Antananarivo; † 22. Juni 1937 ebenda) war ein madagassischer Schriftsteller. Leben Rabearivelo dichtete zunächst in klassischen, europäischen Formen, bevor er in den 30er Jahren mehr und mehr zu eigenen …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Jean-Joseph Rabearivelo — (Antananarivo, Madagascar; 4 de marzo de 1901 Antananarivo, Madagascar; 22 de junio de 1937), fue un poeta malgache que escribió en malgache y en francés, considerado el padre de la literatura malgach …   Wikipedia Español

  • Jean-Joseph Rabearivelo — Jean Joseph Rabearivelo, né Joseph Casimir (4 mars 1901, Tananarive aujourd hui Antananarivo 22 juin 1937, Tananarive), est un poète malgache, considéré comme le premier poète africain moderne. Il naquit dans la capitale de Madagascar juste cinq… …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Jean-Joseph Rabearivelo — (* 4. März 1901 in Antananarivo; † 22. Juni 1937 ebenda) war ein madagassischer Schriftsteller. Leben Rabearivelo dichtete zunächst in klassischen, europäischen Formen, bevor er in den 30er Jahren mehr und mehr zu eigenen, afrikanischen und… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Rabéarivelo, Jean-Joseph — born March 4, 1901, Tananarive, Madag. died June 22, 1937, Tananarive Malagasy writer. Largely self educated, he earned his living as a proofreader for a publishing concern. He wrote seven volumes of poetry in French, of which Near Dreams (1934)… …   Universalium

  • Rabéarivelo, Jean-Joseph — (4 mar. 1901, Tananarive, Madagascar–22 jun. 1937, Tananarive). Escritor malgache. En gran medida autodidacta, se ganaba la vida como corrector de pruebas para una empresa editorial. Escribió siete libros de poesía en francés, entre los cuales… …   Enciclopedia Universal

  • Rabearivelo — Jean Joseph Rabearivelo (* 4. März 1901 in Antananarivo; † 22. Juni 1937 ebenda) war ein madagassischer Schriftsteller. Leben Rabearivelo dichtete zunächst in klassischen, europäischen Formen, bevor er in den 30er Jahren mehr und mehr zu eigenen …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • RABEARIVELO (J.-J.) — RABEARIVELO JEAN JOSEPH (1901 1937) Écrivain de langue malgache et de langue française, Jean Joseph Rabearivelo est devenu la figure littéraire majeure de Madagascar. Sa mort volontaire, soigneusement mise en scène, longtemps préparée par des… …   Encyclopédie Universelle

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