Alioune Diop

1910 (Saint Louis, Senegal) – 1980 (Paris)

Césaire, Niger and Tirolien were his colleagues when he founded the celebrated and influential review and publishing-house ‘Présence Africaine’ in Paris; Senghor, Wright and Leiris aided and abetted. Camus (whom he’d first met when studying in Algiers), Sartre and Gide were on its editorial board. Rabémananjara was a close friend as well as colleague, Césaire and Senghor lifelong friends. Anta Diop was another whose work he published who also became his friend. He was instrumental in bringing Fanon, Bâ, Price-Mars and many others together for the first black writers’ congress.

Alioune Diop knew…

Albert Camus

1913 (Mondovi, now Dréan, Algeria) – 1960 (Villeblevin, France)

Sartre was a colleague of critical significance, and said that he reaffirmed the existence of the moral act, though they went on to disagree vehemently. Camus met Diop in Algiers, studying philosophy, always admired Malraux (gravitating towards him when he arrived in Paris), and published articles by Barthes in the resistance journal he edited. He sent Ponge his ‘Sisyphus’ manuscript, and read through Picasso’s play with Queneau, Sartre and de Beauvoir. Koestler, a fellow-outsider, became an immediate friend. They went out on the razzle with Sartre and de Beauvoir, and wrote a joint essay against capital punishment.