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Jacques-Stephen Alexis

Jacques-Stephen Alexis

Jacques-Stephen Alexis was born on April 22, 1922 in Gonaïves, Haiti. His father, the journalist Stéphen Alexis, author of The Masked Negro (1933), being appointed to a diplomatic post in Europe, Jacques He studied at the Collège Stanislas in Paris.

Returning to Haiti in 1930, he continued his studies at the Collège Saint-Louis-de-Gonzague, then at the Faculty of medicine. He made the acquaintance of Roumain and Guillen in 1942. He founded La Ruche, a newspaper opposition, which plays a decisive role in the Revolution of 1946. Member of the Haitian Communist Party, he contested the election of Dumarsais Estimé. It is jailed. Upon graduation, he obtained his Ph.D. and went to Paris. He leads a triple battle at the same time. Activity: Professional (he specializes in neurology), politics (by the Communist Youth and the Paris Federation, he made contact with various Communist parties, including the Communist Party of China) and literature (he became acquainted with Aragon, with the writers of the Negritude and Latin American Writers). In 1955, Gallimard publishes his first novel, Compère Général Soleil, which is a huge success. immediate. He returned to Haiti.

Worried by the authorities, Jacques-Stephen Alexis nevertheless participates in cultural and political debates in course. In 1956 he made an important contribution to the Paris, at the First Congress of Writers and Artists Blacks: Prolegomena to a Manifesto of Realism Wonderful Haitians. He quickly published Les Arbres musiciens (1957), L’Espace d’un cillement (1959) and Romancero aux étoiles (1960). He participates in at the same time at various international congresses, including that of the Union of Soviet Writers (1959). Duvalier’s power sharply accentuates the atmosphere of insecurity around him, and prevents some of its activities. Invited to China in 1961, and aware of the rift between the two major communist states, he is trying to facilitate One last rapprochement. He met Ho Chi Minh, Mao, and makes notable appeals for the unity of the International Communist Movement. He returns to Cuba, with the decision to go underground. Accompanied by four companions, Charles Adrien-Georges, Guy Béliard, Hubert Dupuis-Nouillé and Max Monroe, he landed on the beach of Bombardopolis, Probably with the aim of reaching the Hounfort dedicated to the loas roots of the Alexis, Souvenance. Without betrayed, the members of the expedition were arrested, tortured, executed. The Death of Jacques-Stephen Alexis was never officially recognized.

– Yves Chemla

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Jacques-Stephen Alexis in 1961 D.R. © photo from Gérald Bloncourt’s archives (click to see the full photo)
Jacques-Stephen Alexis in 1961
D.R. © photo of Gérald Bloncourt’s
archives (click to see the photo in context))

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