Black Orpheus and Aesthetic Historicism


  • Marina Paola Banchetti-Robino Florida Atlantic University



Giambattista Vico, aesthetic historicism, Aime Cesaire, Jean-Paul Sartre, Negritude, Existential phenomenology, Francophone poets, Francophone poetry, Frantz Fanon, Leopold Sedar Senghor


This essay offers a novel approach for understanding the poetry of negritude and its role in the struggle for black liberation by appealing to Giambattista Vico’s insights on the historical, cultural, and myth-making function of poetry and of the mythopoetic imagination.  The essay begins with a discussion of Vico’s aesthetic historicism and of his ideas regarding the role of imagination, poetry, and myth-making and then brings these ideas to bear on the discussion of the function of negritude poetry, focusing primarily on the writings of Aimé Césaire and on Jean-Paul Sartre’s essay, Black Orpheus.

Author Biography

Marina Paola Banchetti-Robino, Florida Atlantic University

Department of Philosophy

Associate Professor