La Catastrophe de la Martinique: thirteen

Jean Hess La Catastrophe de la Martinique (thirteen)                         Those Who Have Seen    VIII. Some Interviews   How was the destruction at Saint-Pierre accomplished? By what force were they thrown to earth, set afire, these ruins through which, in so sorrowful a promenade, […]

La Catastrophe de la Martinique: twelve

Jean Hess La Catastrophe de la Martinique (twelve)         To raise a monument to the great emancipator, following I don’t know what baroque idea, they could not find a better place than the foyer of the theater. The philosopher’s image was to preside over the recreation of crowds amused by clowns… They […]

La Catastrophe de la Martinique: eleven

Jean Hess La Catastrophe de la Martinique (eleven)       But what, far better than phrases, will permit your trying to imagine this destruction, are photographs. I have brought back many. I am publishing some. See these, consider these…a countryside of crushed stone. And crushed, for certain quarters, is a word insufficient. The heights […]

La Catastrophe de la Martinique: ten

Jean Hess La Catastrophe de la Martinique (ten)           It seems to me, when my memory before my eyes evokes the spectacle…it seems to me that I become stupid again, as I was made when the boat had stopped, when a canoe landed me on the beach. Once, from a savage, […]

La Catastrophe de la Martinique: nine

Posted by ractrose on 14 Jun 2018 in Translation

Jean Hess La Catastrophe de la Martinique (nine)                     VI. The Funeral Boat On Land…What We Saw There   I had seen the volcano in passing near the coast, aboard the Saint-Domingue. I had observed the terror it threatened to hurl upon Fort-de-France. I wanted to […]

La Catastrophe de la Martinique: eight

Posted by ractrose on 7 Jun 2018 in Translation

Jean Hess La Catastrophe de la Martinique (eight)                 In brief, a few Americans had planned to realize it, this ascent become classic and obligatory. They were at the Morne-Rouge. In complete equipage, they’d gone. Wagons, horses, mules, guides, and provisions. They had dined, very calm, happy in […]

La Catastrophe de la Martinique: seven

Posted by ractrose on 31 May 2018 in Translation

Jean Hess La Catastrophe de la Martinique (seven)                   I have rediscovered an old and very dear friend. A friend of my young years. We go out to dinner, to a place for admiring the scene of apocalypse which the sky—if you prefer, the atmosphere—offers us in […]

La Catastrophe de la Martinique: six

Posted by ractrose on 24 May 2018 in Translation

Jean Hess La Catastrophe de la Martinique (six)                     IV.  At Fort-de-France Ashes and Terrors Black Fears. White Fears. Blue Fears.     Zulima has not lied. She has barely exaggerated. Fort-de-France is sad. The city seems to go forth from a bad dream. It lies […]

La Catastrophe de la Martinique: five

Posted by ractrose on 17 May 2018 in Translation

Jean Hess La Catastrophe de la Martinique (five)                         II.   Before the Volcano (On the way to Saint-Pierre, at sunset)     The land!  It is always there at the end of a voyage, an impatience, a quivering, when we approach land. The […]

La Catastrophe de la Martinique: four

Posted by ractrose on 10 May 2018 in Translation

Jean Hess La Catastrophe de la Martinique Preface continued (four)               At Basse-Terre, we were reassured. At Pointe we found a thousand Martiniquais refugees, of whom around five hundred had come not wanting to stay at Fort-de-France, for being told it had been rendered uninhabitable by the previous day’s […]