Martinican sociologist, literary critic, and writer André Lucrèce has published a beautiful homage for Dr. Pierre Vernet, who died along with many of his students in the recent earthquake while teaching a class at the State University of Haiti.
In his eulogy, Lucrèce mourns Vernet’s disappearance “under the rigorous stones of death,” praising his ongoing efforts as “a builder of altars to the Creole word,” his customary generosity, his sparkling curiosity, and, most of all, his dreams of bringing together “our countries and our peoples.” Lucrèce states, “There are several ways for the people to protect their sovereignty. One of them is to give birth to such sons, those who never go back on their promises.” He says that, although he will miss his confident presence, no catastrophe will be able to bury the memory of his smile and words in his memory, adding that “Pierre, I am sure, is resting in a garden of light. This is why, for him, we will continue singing this Caribbean fraternity.”
Pierre Vernet, former Dean of the School of Linguistics at the State University of Haiti, often spoke and wrote about the structures of Haitian Creole and the politics of language in Haiti. Some of his publications are “Analyse Contrastive Créole Haïtien-Français,” “Techniques d’écriture du créole haïtien, ” “L’école en créole: Etude comparée des réformes des systèmes éducatifs en Haïti et aux Seychelles,” (with Robert Chaudenson), and “Diksyonè òtograf kreyòl ayisyen,” a dictionary of Haitian Creole (with Bryant C. Freeman).
André Lucrèce is the author of books such as La sainteté du monde (2003), Conversations avec ceux de Tropiques (2006), and Martinique d’Antan (2007).
For the complete eulogy (in French) and Vernet’s photo, see http://www.montraykreyol.org/spip.php?article3462