restricted access Entering the Politics of the Outside: Richard Wright's Critique of Marxism and Existentialism

Richard Wright articulated a political theory that reflected his engagements with both negritude and existentialism, while effectively challenging their ideological limitations. In his novel The Outsider, Wright critiques the Communist Party's racialized deployment of the strategy/tactic paradigm. The rigor of Wright's critique uncovers the structures of universalism and particularism as fundamental to Western political ontology, leading directly to a corresponding critique of Heideggerian existentialism. Opposed to any politics of authenticity, Wright proposes a politics of the outside which calls for a reconfiguration of the political structures of representation.