On 15 August 1791, the Day of the Assumption, a great uprising commenced which was to make Haiti--under Toussaint L'Ouverture--the world's first independent black republic and the first society to abolish slavery after the French Revolution. This key date lies behind Pierre Clitandre's sweeping story of contemporary Haiti.Through the eyes of the poorest people of the AmeriOn 15 August 1791, the Day of the Assumption, a great uprising commenced which was to make Haiti--under Toussaint L'Ouverture--the world's first independent black republic and the first society to abolish slavery after the French Revolution. This key date lies behind Pierre Clitandre's sweeping story of contemporary Haiti.Through the eyes of the poorest people of the Americas--the higglers, the washerwomen, the tap-tap drivers of the shantytowns crowding around Port-au-Prince--we experience the dynamic current of history that has brought Haiti once again to rebellion.Woven from many characters and stories is the lyrical tapestry of a people, fascinating and complex....
|Title||:||Cathédrale du mois d'Aout|
|Number of Pages||:||182 Pages|
|Status||:||Available For Download|
|Last checked||:||21 Minutes ago!|
Cathédrale du mois d'Aout Reviews
This is a Haitian novel, originally in French but translated into Creole-like West Indian English, from the late 1970s. I understand it’s written about contemporary Haiti but mirroring on the slave uprising and ultimately first free slave republic. There is not a huge amount of story but appears to span several years centred on bus owner John and his young son Raphael. They transport people around the shanty town nearby are the sugar plantation shed owned by the corporation. The locals are of course poor but their culture holds things together until authorities take reprisals for the killing of a shed guard after protests.The novel feels more like a series of vignettes from which seep Haitian life, death, smell, colour and heat. There are some poetic turns of phrase in that classic non-magical realism Latin American style. A quote:“Like a huge eye appalled at the sight, the old sun rose over the dead. He had knocked around the hill-tops on Death’s-Door, disappearing at the narrow opening of I-believe-in-God alley before he shone right down into Jesus-Grave, the name that had eventually been given to the deep crevasse carved out by the falling thunder-stone on the sixth days of the great rains. The wind blew away the dust and smoke of the burnt-out shacks with the odour of sacrifice. No more groaning.”This was a very good read and worth at least 3 stars.
This book is widely recognized as a classic, but I was not overly impressed. There were some very beautiful parts and I could certainly see why it is so highly regarded, but I didn't love it. This new edition did not help. There were so many mistakes, it made it hard to read. Missing or misspelled words, letters smooshed together, repeated phrases, bad typesetting... I think it's great they decided to re-edit this book, I just wish they had done it well. Maybe I'll read this is in another edition one day and see if I like it more.
This book absolutely tops my list of "hot" books, just above Under the Volcano and One Hundred Years of Solitude. Heat is a character in Clitandre's novel of Haiti, and it blankets the impressionistic episodes and eras of the island. Beyond the heat, though, the novel is a perfect peoples' history of a singular nation, complete despite its length. Read it.
Desolate CanvasSomebody called once called Haiti "the best nightmare on earth". I've never been there, but living destitute in fetid slums full of violence and disease is certainly not a uniquely Haitian condition. Born of desperation and crying for hope of a better future, Haiti has never lived up to its dream. Perhaps nobody can live up to a dream, but Haiti has fallen far from the gallant aims of its slave liberators who threw out several French armies with the help of Mr. Malaria and General Yellow Fever. The 20th century saw the country reduced to a pitiful shadow of its founders' vision, living under the heel of despots in black Cadillacs and gangs of pistol-packing hoodlums in reflecting sunglasses. The poor were reduced to the horrible existence on a denuded and dried-out land, violently exploited in Dominican canefields, or in the mosquito-infested slums of Port au Prince where foreign business interests always got priority, thriving on cheap and pliant labor. Haiti could be compared to a completely clapped out bus, constantly about to conk out forever, but still going down the potholed roads because of a few dedicated tinkerers, willpower, and soul. Clitandre's novel opens, in fact, with one such tap-tap....a street bus full of poor citizens.With overtones of Jorge Amado and perhaps Carlos Fuentes, CATHEDRAL OF THE AUGUST HEAT promises to be a novel of the Haitian common man in all his difficulties and despair. Indeed it is a poem of that very thing, but maybe not a novel after all. The author must have poured his whole soul into this book. I found it moving and very poetic, but the lyric qualities interfered with plot development. Magical realism, folk tales, zombies, visions, and lyrical feelings of love and dignity crowd the pages, along with rose laurel (mentioned on nearly every other page for some reason), but the eventual uprising of the oppressed against the forces of dictatorship and exploitation, the uprising that occurs on a day significant in Haitian history, never clarified by the author (perhaps he never thought a foreigner would read his book), remains unexplained. For a person without any idea of Haiti or Haitian history, who does not know of the Dominican exploitation or Papa Doc, etc., no quarter is given. Either you know or you can hit the road. It concerns more the uprising of all poor people against their oppressors, it is a poem against injustice and cruelty. I might look at this novel as a painting by Rivera or Orozco, even as a symphony of inspiring tones, but I wonder if it will hold the attention of many non-Haitians or even be understandable. I fully realize that it was not written with foreigners in mind. Still.....