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Saint-John Perse Is the pseudonym used by Alexis Saint-Leger. Leger was born on Guadeloupe in the French West Indies in 1887, and became the first West Indian to win a Nobel Prize, although he is not generally accredited as such! Perse had two, completely different careers, and he attained the highest distinction in both of them. He immigrated to France with his parents when just 12 years old, but he had enjoyed a paradisical childhood in Guadeloupe which he never forgot, and celebrated it by transposing it brilliantly in 'Images of Crusoe', which he wrote in 1904 when he was just 17 years old. It was the publication of 'Anabase' in 1924, which won him great admiration in the France-phone world. This was quickly repeated in the English speaking world, when T.S. Elliot translated it. Anabase was written when Perse was stationed at the Embassy in Peking, he used to go for long rides on horseback, often alone viewing ruins and other old historic buildings, which perhaps gave greater scope to his imagination. It is noted that this is the poem that introduces his grand manner of writing. The epic scope of the poem is sustained by grandiloquence, which is subtly modulated, and displays a boundless curiosity about human institutions and artefacts. The poem also paints a journey through time and space, and describes an impatience with the comprise of middleclass society, and an urge for constant nomadic movement. This was regarded as very new in writing at the time, and is still generally so regarded, but C.L.R. James while lecturing at University in the United States, was able to show clearly that Saint-John Perse was a typical West Indian writer, who wrote in a particular manner and style. Perhaps some of the closest familiar, literary aspects with Perse's writing to other West Indian writing, can be seen in the writing of Wilson Harris, and in that of Aime Cesaire. In 1940 he was appointed Secretaire General at the Quai d'Orsay, an appointment which, in fact, made him the head of French diplomacy, and this at a most critical period in French history, as the war with Germany was raging. This appointment for him was due reward for his staunch opposition to appeasement throughout the 1930's, which led to him being summarily dismissed by the Prime Minister, Paul Reynaud, just before France's defeat by Germany in 1940. The collaborating Vichy government then stripped him of his nationality, and he was forced into exile in the United States, where he remained till 1957. While in exile in the United States, Perse wrote four poems of exile, 'Exil, 'Pluies', 'Neiges', and 'Poeme a l'etrangere' in 1944. Most of his poems celebrated elemental realties other than those listed above, 'Vents' which he published in 1946, 'Amers' published in 1957 and 'Chronique' which he published in 1960. In 1960 Saint-John Perse was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature, therefore becoming the first West Indian to be awarded this honour. However, as Gaudaloupe is termed an 'overseas department' of France he is generally (though technically and historically incorrect) classified of as a French writer.