From Lorraine to the West Indies
Born in Lorraine in 1952, Charles W. Scheel is professor of American literature at the University of the West Indies in Martinique. His area of research concerns modern literature from Europe and the Americas, and more specifically the notions of magical realism and marvelous realism, so prevalent in Caribbean cultures.
The "francique" of Moselle-Est (a Germanic dialect) was his mother tongue, but it was the schoolmaster's French that allowed him to study literature and English in Strasbourg, before discovering the Americas. then the Arab world of the Middle East.
His belated adoption of Martinique as a place of life and research is the long-delayed consequence of his meeting in Italy, in the summer of 1982, with the exceptional man and remarkable Caribbean writer Jean-Louis Baghio'o . The latter, born in Fort-de-France in 1910, was also a sound engineer and from 1957 to 1967 directed the construction of several radio stations in Africa, for Ocora . When his missions took him to Dakar, he must certainly have had fascinating exchanges – West Indian style… – with Joseph Zobel in the offices of Radio Senegal. We dream of finding some recording of it one day!
He is the author of La forge de Zobel , texts, stories and reports published in Le Sportif de Fort-de-France from 1938 to 1959, and collaborated with Roger Little on the reissue of Bêtes de la Brousse by René Maran , in particular for the collection of texts and lexicons which complete the work.