Title page, Series page, Copyright, Dedication

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Contents

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Foreword

Sonia Dayan-Herzbrun

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pp. xi-xvi

More than fifty years after his death, Frantz Fanon still ignites violent passions. This “outlaw thinker,” as Lewis Gordon calls him, has become an object either of worship or a mixture of hatred and fear, especially in France, where he is not yet completely accepted as an author legitimately to be read...

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Preface

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pp. xvii-xxii

The composition of this book on Frantz Fanon began in Providence, Rhode Island, during my years of teaching at Brown University. It was put on hold during a terrible decade of family tragedies and subsequent political battles with a set of academic administrators in Philadelphia, and...

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Introduction

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pp. 1-7

Raising the question of what a thinker said invites critics, in near knee-jerk reaction, to ask if one’s portrait is of what was “really” said and then to offer the challenge of what could have been “said otherwise.” What someone has said, especially where those words are published, calls for reading the...

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1. “I Am from Martinique”

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pp. 8-18

Think of the body in motion. Dancing. Then think of it standing still. Perhaps leaned back. Consider the body in question or, perhaps, indifferent. Fanon’s body, a troubled, frenetic body that was simultaneously elegant, rhythmic (he did, in spite of his protestations, dance the beguine), and...

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2. Writing through the Zone of Nonbeing

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pp. 19-46

Fanon was an ironic writer who was struggling with the complex question of paradoxical reason and history. The modern collapse of “Reason” and “History” into all things European represented a failure of reason and history that required self-deception regarding Europe’s scope. Put differently: Europe...

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3. Living Experience, Embodying Possibility

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pp. 47-74

The title of the fifth chapter of Black Skin, White Masks, “L’expérience vécue du Noir” (“Th e Lived Experience of the Black”), is a riff on the second volume of Simone de Beauvoir’s The Second Sex, whose subtitle is L’expérience vécue (“Lived Experience”). Whereas Beauvoir offers a Richard Wright...

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4. Revolutionary Therapy

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pp. 75-105

Black Skin, White Masks was not the only work of Fanon’s that came to print immediately after his completion of his doctorate. Composed while he was a medical student, “Le syndrome nord africain” (“The North African Syndrome”), which was published, as we saw, in the February 1952 issue of...

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5. Counseling the Damned

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pp. 106-134

In 1960, Fanon, the thirty-five-year-old psychiatrist and veteran of World War II, twice decorated for valor, was appointed ambassador to Ghana for the GPRA (Gouvernement provisoire de la République algérienne). He had devoted the previous six years of his life to the struggle for independence...

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Conclusion: Requiem for the Messenger

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pp. 135-142

As his body deteriorated from his illness, Fanon’s comrades urged him to take the advice of the Soviet doctors and seek treatment in the United States. He finally agreed. He faced, however, another problem. How was he to get there when it was clear, given the U.S. government’s increased involvement...

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Afterword

Drucilla Cornell

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pp. 143-148

Lewis Gordon is unquestionably one of the most important readers and critics of the work of Frantz Fanon. In this book, he breaks new ground. Particularly with his reexamination of two of the most controversial chapters in Black Skin, White Masks which grapple with interracial relationships...

Notes

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pp. 149-176

Index

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pp. 177-194