André Lucrèce: Eulogy for Pierre Vernet

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

3 thoughts on “André Lucrèce: Eulogy for Pierre Vernet

  1. pierre vernet was the best dean that i ever had, he was self-confident, hard worker and progresist, he always preconize the creole language as a key to develop a country he was also a leader that had to face many problems with gorvernment international organization, even in the fla also. nobody will be like him , he is unique,i think the best way to honor him is to fight to restand up the fla otherwise we will kill him twice so be active and organize ourselveswilliam nicolas pierre, 2nd grade stutent at FLA

  2. A body collapsed ,where a spirit flew away ,Dean
    Vernet i honor you as a hero ,who fought so hard for the respect of our language ufortunately you didn’t have a chance to see the future of your works i keep wondering everyday what a great man ! who’s gonna be like him nobody knows.May your rocket science spirit rest and peace and hat off my dear ,farewell Vernet.

  3. As a former student of the FLA. I grieve profoundly the loss of Dr. Vernet in the catastrophe of January 12, 2010. Dr. Vernet had inspired us so much. He had helped us see the world with different eyes. He helped us understand what’s knowledge and what is not knowledge. He helped us demystified the complex we grew up with concerning French and Creole. He was an advocate for the Creole language. Today if Creole is so largely spoken in the media, taught in schools, and in the Haitian administrion, Dr. Vernet is one of the pioneer who had worked hard in order for that to happen. I always say that if someone did not go to FLA they missed out a lot, because anyone who went to FLA would agree that they are different because of the way Dr. Vernet taught us. I also admired his combative spirit. He was always fighting for FLA in so many ways. He knew he had enemies, nevertheless he never gave up because he knew the cause was worth fighting for. I also need to say that Dr. Vernet tried to be involved in the lives of his student in a personal way. I remember when I was getting married, he was there at my wedding. Dr. Vernet is no longer with us but the things he imparted in me will forever stay with me. He will be missed tremendously.

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