‘To sing the beauties of the Haitian motherland’: The voice of the Griot in Jacques-Stéphen Alexis’ Romancero aux étoiles (1960) | Intellect Skip to content
Volume 3, Issue 1
  • ISSN: 2043-0701
  • E-ISSN: 2043-071X



There is a glaring disparity between the number of short stories being published by writers of Haitian origin and the body of literary criticism that exists on these stories. This article examines the relationship of narration and nation and will seek to bring the Haitian short story to the fore with specific emphasis on the voice of the griot in the 1960 collection Romancero aux étoiles/A Serenade to the Stars by writer Jacques-Stéphen Alexis. The griot, a traditionally African figure, is the ever-present narrator in this collection, thus reminding the reader of the strong connection of the Haitian short story to African oral traditions. The article begins by analysing Alexis and how he integrates his réalisme merveilleux approach to literature. It then locates Alexis’ collection within the framework of Haitian short fiction. The narrative voice that Jacques-Stéphen Alexis uses in his short stories is a multifaceted one that reflects the political environment of a nation that is perpetually reminded of its tenuous history and fecund culture.


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