Exotic Parodies: Subjectivity in Adorno, Said, and Spivak by Asha Varadharajan PDF

Exotic Parodies: Subjectivity in Adorno, Said, and Spivak by Asha Varadharajan PDF

By Asha Varadharajan

Publication through Varadharajan, Asha

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In praying to his body to "make of [him] always a man who questions" (Fanon 1967a, 232), Fanon suggests the dimensions of an otherness that relates the discursive to the material, and the somatic to the psychic and the cognitive. In the dialectical noncoincidence between the object of knowledge and the discursive "spirals" (Foucault's word) of power and pleasure might lie the scope of uncompromising critique as well as the lineaments of the object's resistance, self-representation, and desire. 2 / Rethinking the Object The demise of the Cartesian subject seems at first to elicit the potential of its object, its self-effacement a necessary prelude to the emergence of a visible and voluble object.

If the subject was never whole and undivided, was the object never powerless, traduced, and excluded? Whom shall the object hold accountable for its suffering? The displacement of the subject can all too easily become a convenient ploy to withhold subjectivity from those for whom it has never been anything but an illusion. The critique of essence, identity, and authenticity does not account for the experience of being bereft of all three; indeed, such critique appropriates that experience and transforms it into a moment of selfdiscovery rather than a recognition of otherness.

The black consciousness that emerges from the moment of negation has value precisely because the white man is not only the other but also the master (Fanon 1967a, 138n), because the meaning of negation is forged in the specific situation of decolonization and fashioned out of material suffering. The voice of the black man, therefore, is "torn through and through" 24 / Rethinking the Object (Fanon 1967b, 49). In this powerful image, Fanon undermines his own leanings toward identity; he insists, instead, on a complex voicing of self that reveals the negation at the center of identity.

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