Fanon blog post

sorry if this post is confusing, I’m not sure I even understand my own opinions, let alone the book they’re based on

In ‘The Lived Experience Of The Black Man’ chapter of Black Skin, White Masks, the narrator claims that he “was up against something irrational” in being “hated, detested, and despised…by an entire race” (Fanon, 97/98). This seemed obvious enough once I read it, but for some reason it never previously crossed my mind that the battle for race equality is a battle strictly between rationality and irrationality. But Fanon seems to be saying something along those lines. The divide between black and white people was created by, or at least still perseveres, because of the irrationality of white society’s racism. I think this theory seemed odd out of the blue due to the self-proclaimed reputation of rationality, science, and logic which Western society, (especially North American Society) has come to enjoy. This image of White culture still seems dominant, despite racism. Yet Fanon is encouraging black people to combat racism with rationality, reason and truth. Would this then be an example of ‘trying to be like the subject’, and giving white racists a taste of their own medicine? It’s very difficult to associate a complete race with irrationality vs. rationality, and the more I do this, the more racist I myself feel. But I don’t know if its possible to at least sound, a little racist when talking about racism even objectively. That may be why Fanon’s book was so jarring- because it wasn’t even trying to be objective, or politically correct. It was unabashed, shameless, and raw. Black Faces White Masks captured the issue of racism more vividly than something trying to be neutral would have.

Northanger Abbey

Contrary to my expectations, I enjoyed Northanger Abbey abbey quite a bit, becoming strangely compelled by the story, and its characters. I think part of what I was so enamoured by was the fact that Jane Austen was able to make so much out of so little, and out of such ‘traditional’ characters. Even though the motivations of marriage, reputation, and so forth seem archaic to me, and maybe were even a bit dull to readers in Austen’s time, she is able to convey the thoughts and personalities of characters with dizzying  depth and complexity. Her writing was intimate enough that even the journey of such a seemingly dainty, foreign psyche as Catherine’s appeared as a jarring emotional roller coaster even to me. I guess what I’m getting at is Northanger Abbey demonstrates that exceptional writing can make something even as foreign to us as Regency era England transcend its own context and feel vivid and high-stakes. Not to mention that the prose was exceptionally easy to read and get through. The writing style Austen adopts may exemplify Wordsworth’s definition of bibliotherapy as writing that is the non-savage, accurate transfer of meaning and emotions through words and thoughts heavily meditated on.