In this book, French-Caribbean writer and philosopher E?douard Glissant turns the concrete particulars of Caribbean reality into a complex vision of a world in transformation. He sees the islands of the Antilles as enduring as "invalid" suffering imposed by history, yet also as a place whose unique interactions will one day produce an emerging global consensus. Arguing that the writer alone can tap the unconscious of a people and apprehend its multiform culture in order to provide forms of memory and intent capable of transcending "nonhistory," Glissant therefore defines his "poetics of relation"--Both aesthetic and political--as a transformative mode of history, capable of enunciating and making concrete a French-Caribbean reality with a self-defined past and future. In this book we come to see that relation in all its senses--telling, listening, connecting, and the parallel consciousness of self and surroundings--is the key to transforming mentalities and reshaping societies. The issues raised about identity as built in relation and not in isolation are central to current discussions not only of Caribbean creolization but of U.S. multiculturalism as well.