Franketienne claims that in this book he "speaks to the madness of the sea in heat" and in fact his "tempest of words" takes us from a discourse on the aesthetics of Spiralism
deep into the life of Port-au-Prince.
MWM: Talking about DNA begs the question of spiralism
. Can you describe that movement for us a bit?
Central to Ryser's epistemology of knowing are five ways, or methods, of thought; he likens these to "braided rivers to knowing." Time, space, and place animate a great consciousness in the universe; and human beings experience different streams of thought that flow into "a single river of thought that offers ways of knowing." These five ways are Cyclicism (eastern Mediterranean to the eighteenth century), Cuarto Spiralism
(Western Hemisphere), Fatalism (Asia), Providentialism (Christendom), and Progressivism (Western-modern-industrialized).
Additionally, a documentary about the artistic movement with which he is associated, spiralism, recently screened at the New York Film Festival (Eye of the Spiral, directed by Eve Blouin).
The book's translator, Kaiama Glover, is also the author of Haiti Unbound (2010), which makes an illuminating companion volume to Ready to Burst, as it provides context and deeply rewarding analysis in its treatment of all three of spiralism's principal founders (the other two are Jean-Claude Fignole and Rene Philoctete).
Meticulously deconstructing the six selected novels and referencing the writers' own rare and reluctant theoretical pronouncements, Glover describes Spiralism as "a structural and syntactic narrative model" (p.
In a rather elegant and direct style that generally eschews the opacity of critical jargon, as she nods to these earlier scholars of Spiralism, Glover achieves superbly her stated intention in Haiti Unbound, which is both "to emphasize the singularity of the Spiralists' aesthetic and discursive interventions" (p.
Thus, Glover might have positioned Spiralism as the latest temps fort in the historical development of a Haitian aesthetic of the narrative that has been consistently informed by the oral tradition, placing the Spiralist novel in a formal and ideological continuum that proceeds from the folktale to the lodyans to the marvelous realist narrative.
Writing and publishing in both Creole and French, and with a broad audience in Haiti, Franketienne is, as Aime Cesaire apparently styled him, "Monsieur Haiti." In the mid- to late-1960s, Franketienne founded with Jean-Claude Fignole and Rene Philoctete the literary movement known as Spiralism
, which took the spiral as a guiding aesthetic principle and an element of nature, history, time, being, and creation that embodies the tension between the insular and the global that courses through their work.