Ti difé boulé sou istoua Ayiti: Considering the Stakes of Trouillot's Earliest Work

Document Type


Publication Date






Publication Title

Cultural Dynamics


This essay discusses Ti dife boule sou istoua Ayiti (Burning Issues in Haitian History) (1977), Trouillot's first published book, which is currently being translated to English for the first time. Ti dife boule is a complex and innovative text that lays the groundwork for Trouillot's later thought, but remains the least known of his publications because it was composed in Haitian Creole, was never circulated widely, and has long been out of print. This Marxist critique of colonial history through the prism of Haitian history shows how Haiti's Revolution (1791-1803) holds the clues to interpreting and critiquing Haiti's recent history. Instead of following the epic tradition glorifying revolutionary heroes, Trouillot critiques the European-inspired traditions of governance displayed by Haitian rebel generals and re-examines the contributions of the Haitian slave masses in the revolution. In a well-documented yet accessible manner, drawing from Haiti's popular storytelling tradition, proverbs, and songs, Trouillot explores the rivalries, murders, and gamesmanship that mark the formation of the Haitian State and traces their harmful effect upon the evolution of the State in independent Haiti. Ti dife boule's translators conclude this essay by reflecting upon possible reasons why Trouillot only recently authorized its translation to English .


Published as:
Past, Mariana and Benjamin Hebblethwaite . "Ti difé boulé sou istoua Ayiti: Considering the Stakes of Trouillot's Earliest Work." Cultural Dynamics 26, no. 2 (2014): 149-61.

© 2014 by SAGE Publications. All rights reserved

For more information on the published version, visit Sage's Website.

Full text currently unavailable.