Fanon and audience

One of my general aims in critically re-reading Fanon is to historicize – in the sense of periodization – his thought. For me, this means in part critically evaluating how he understands the Caribbean in terms of memory, history, and culture, framed by developments after Fanon. Too much work in philosophy and theory begins and ends with Fanon, or reads him as a sort of timeless thinker. But periodizing also means asking how we might frame Fanon’s work with the questions of his moment. Continue reading “Fanon and audience”

Between Naipaul and Fanon

My essay for the Caribbean Philosophical Association meeting in San Juan makes what I hope will be a provocative claim: on the question of the meaning of the Caribbean, Naipaul and Fanon are essentially saying the same thing. In terms of the iconography of the Caribbean intellectual tradition, there could not be a sharper contrast. Naipaul is melancholic, wandering, and generally as pessimistic about the meaning of the Caribbean as you’ll find in the tradition. Fanon’s affect is really the opposite, with a dreamy optimism about the future, and (at least at the level of rhetoric) militant politics. Continue reading “Between Naipaul and Fanon”

Ménil and the marvelous

As I complete the critical introduction for my translation, I’m  working through ideas of the marvelous in Ménil’s work. In particular, I’m wondering how the créolité manifesto draws upon those ideas to, in part, surmount the Césaire’s work on Négritude.

It is a complicated question. On the one hand, the question is stalled from the outset because neither Ménil nor the marvelous get explicit treatment in Éloge de la créolité. In terms of historical influences, the manifesto offers Césaire as a foil and Glissant as a hero. That’s the dialectic or at least tension. Césaire’s eschewing of vernacular forms and cultural locality is rightly held to severe scrutiny, even as the manifest writers go ahead and concede Négritude as an important moment. Continue reading “Ménil and the marvelous”