File spoon-archives/postcolonial.archive/postcolonial_2000/postcolonial.0012, message 29

Date: Mon, 11 Dec 2000 14:05:36 -0600
Subject: "Fantastic rides" and Fanon

Hello all, 

I'm currently in a graduate seminar on Fanon, and we've been stuck on a
question of the meaning of a particular passage. I'm hoping perhaps someone
on the list might be able to shed some light on this (or maybe knows
someone who could). 

In "The Wretched of the Earth," in the chapter "Concerning Violence," Fanon
talks about "the phenomena of the dance and of possession." In this
context, he mentions "symbolical killings, fantastic rides, imaginary mass
murders" (p. 57 in most editions of this book). The symbolical killings and
the mass murders we understand, but it's the "fantastic rides" that have us
stumped. I checked the original French, but it was no more helpful - there,
it's "chevauchee figurative," which means a symbolic horse ride, as near as
I can figure. Our guess so far is that this refers to a particular kind of
tradition that we aren't aware of, but I'd certainly like to know more. 

So, does anyone know what sort of tradition this "fantastic ride" might
refer to? 



----------------------------------  (Miriam Schacht)

Assistant Instructor, Dept. of English
University of Texas at Austin
Parlin 108, Campus Mail Code B5000
Austin, TX 78712

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