New Book : « Ti-Jean l’Horizon » (graphic novel) reports that Ti-Jean l’Horizon, the novel by Simone Schwarz-Bart, has been adapted into a graphic novel by Guadeloupean illustrator Roland Monpierre. The book, published by Caraïbéditions as part of its BD Collection [Collection Bande Dessinée], will be on the shelves by January 31, 2022.

42 years after its first publication, the famous novel Guadeloupean writer Simone Schwarz-Bart, Ti-Jean l’Horizon, has been adapted into a graphic novel by Guadeloupean author-illustrator Roland Monpierre. Published by Caraïbéditions, this eponymous adaptation breathes new life into this extraordinary adventure through the prism of comics, a literary genre that is very popular among young readers.

In 1979, seven years after Pluie et vent sur Télumée Miracle, deemed a masterpiece of Caribbean literature, Simone Schwart-Bart published Ti-Jean l’Horizon (Seuil), a novel that she considers as being all at once “a love story, a tale of witchcraft, and a work of science fiction where ‘the Beast’ would play the role of a time machine.” An assessment that echoes the collective imagination of the people of the French Antilles for whom Ti-Jean represents the traditional hero of Creole folktales. Through his adventure, populated by more or less extraordinary encounters and trials of all kinds, in this journey to the end of the Caribbean night and his dream of Africa, the land of his ancestors, “Ti-Jean” represents the symbol of the torments of identity and the suffering side of a Caribbean consciousness.

In the manner of modern tales, Simone Schwarz-Bart, drawing inspiration from the Caribbean oral tradition, imagined a work in a poetic and dreamlike universe to underline the acuteness of this quest for identity among Caribbean people and the myth of the return to the sources.

Graphic novels, a popular literary genre among young people

42 years after the publication of the novel, Ti-Jean l’Horizon is reborn in the form of a comic strip prompted by Guadeloupean author-illustrator Roland Monpierre, author of a graphic biography of Jamaican singer Bob Marley; one on the [classical composer Joseph Bologne] Chevalier de Saint-Georges, Georges by Alexandre Dumas; and even Joseph Zobel’s novel Diab’là.

Adapting a work is never easy because you may be able to take some liberties with the original version. It is especially difficult when it is a literary genre, which has been less explored in this graphic exercise. However, the comic strip version of the eponymous novel by Simone Schwarz-Bart remains in this dreamlike and poetic universe and borrows the imaginary of the novel: “Ti-Jean – l’Horizon, remember the refreshing breath of your tender Aegea. Alas, the Beast has swallowed her, after having swallowed up the sun! It’s time to go your own way, Ti-Jean. Leave the darkness of Fond-Zombie, enter the jaws of the devourer of worlds. You will discover a strangely familiar country, that of your ancestors…”

This adaptation, created by the collaboration of Simone Schwarz-Bart with illustrator Roland Monpierre, makes it possible to bring Ti-Jean l’Horizon up to date. A way of reviving a work in a mode of artistic expression considered as the 9th art and, above all, a literary genre acclaimed by young people, with perhaps the wish to awaken in young people the desire to read the very beautiful novel by Schwart-Bart in its original conception.

Ti-Jean l’Horizon, Roland Monpierre and Simone Schwarz-Bart

Collection BD

Publisher: Caraïbéditions, January 2022, 136 pages

Translated by Ivette Romero. For original article (in French), see and

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