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Rabearivelo Jean-Joseph
(1901-1937)

Rabearivelo Jean-Joseph (1901-1937)

Jean Joseph Rabearivelo, was a Malagasy poet writing in both Malagasy and French. His poetry collections are entitled Cutting the Ashes (1924), Nearly Dreams (1934), and Translation of the Night (1935). He is often considered the father of modern Malagasy literature.

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.


Madagaskar, 1965, Jean-Joseph Rabearivelo

Madagaskar, 1987, Jean-Joseph Rabearivelo

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