Literature week in Madagascar: for writers, the challenge of publication

Rabearivelo, the enfant terrible of African letters.


Text by: RFI Follow

2 min

Malagasy writers and poets are in the spotlight in Antananarivo with the Malagasy Literature Week.

The National Library hosts meetings with the authors, conferences and debates and readings of poems.

We hear the texts of classics like Jean-Joseph Rabéarivelo, but it is also an opportunity for today's authors to make their works known to the general public. 


Read more

with our correspondent in Madagascar,

Laetitia Bezain


My grave is still my grave but my heart is another


The New Tomb


Jean-Joseph Rabéarivelo

(1901-1937), is a poem known to all the inhabitants of the Big Island.

Malagasy is a rich and musical language in the service of literature, for General Désiré Philippe Ramakavelo, former Minister of Defense (1991-1993) and also a writer.


Even in intonation, when we speak Malagasy, foreigners (say) that we sing ...


To read also

: French-speaking Malagasy literature: commitment and dual belonging 

In one of the rooms of the National Library, which bears the name of the poet Dox, whose real name is Jean Verdi Salomon Razakandraina (1913-1978), short stories, poems, selected pieces of plays and novels in the Malagasy language of Today's writers have been printed on large billboards.

But as at the time of Jean-Joseph Rabéarivelo, they are struggling to be published, explains Hajaina Andrianasolo, president of the Union of Malagasy Poets and Writers - of which Dox was one of the creators -, organizer of the event. . “ 

Writers face great difficulties when they want to publish their works. During this week, we challenge ourselves to release a book that we want at a very low price. It is with our savings that we publish it. In Madagascar, the authors don't just write. They do the typing, the layout, the binding, the cover. They are the ones who bring the book to the Ministry of the Interior for legal deposit. This is what we have to do if they want to release a book in Madagascar.


The Union of Malagasy Writers and Poets is hoping for support from the Ministry of Culture to facilitate the publication and dissemination of their writings. 


Receive all international news directly in your mailbox

I subscribe

Follow all the international news by downloading the RFI application


  • Culture

  • Madagascar

  • Literature