The twelfth episode of Professor Ato Quayson’s vlog Critic.Reading.Writing is up!
Quayson reads from Frantz Fanon’s essay in Black Skin, White Masks, “The Fact of Blackness.” In this essay, Fanon paints an unrelenting portrait of the symbolic dismemberment of his own body under the colonial gaze.
Frantz Fanon is a writer whose works can be interpreted as philosophical, psychological, and often times literary in form. In this episode, Professor Quayson takes this opportunity to analyze Fanon as his own tragic protagonist in “The Fact of Blackness.” Quayson explains:
The effect of this is to elevate the character of “Fanon” into the status of a tragic protagonist heroically wading through stereotypes that seek to discombobulate his body. And these are produced within the existential drama of a racialized discourse. We see here hints of tragic representativeness, and thus, a form of iconic absoluteness, as if what Fanon is describing has significance well beyond the immediate everyday encounter.
The professor concludes this thought-provoking episode with a promise to explore Shakespeare’s Othello and Tayeb Salih’s Season of Migration to the North from the perspective of Fanon’s psycho-existential complex in next week’s episode.
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