Ready to Burst

Ready to Burst Frankétienne (Haiti): 1968; translated by Kaiama L. Glover, Archipelago Books, 2014.


The storyline in Ready to Burst is easy to follow: Raynand and Paulin are two young men struggling through life in Port-au-Prince. They experience "...endless bad luck on the paths of sorrow" in their loves, ambitions, and goals. Raynard is alone in life and has difficulty negotiating his life in Haiti, while Paulin is slightly better off and is concerned with writing a novel which turns out to be Ready to Burst.

Both Paulin's novel and Ready to Burst are written from the point of view of Spiralism which views life as unfolding in an upward moving spiral. The novel is weakest on this point as I was left with a less than adequate understanding of Spiralism and its connection to historical Haiti. Granted, that could be the fault of my own ignorance and not of the writing, however, it did make for a bit of difficult reading. Even so, I found this aspect the most intriguing and it makes me look forward to Frankétiene's Ultavocal which is slated for a 2018 publication and supposedly covers Spiralism in depth.