File spoon-archives/postcolonial.archive/postcolonial_2000/postcolonial.0012, message 32

Date: Mon, 11 Dec 2000 14:59:06 -0800
Subject: Re: "Fantastic rides" and Fanon

In the context of the passage it seems mostly about the figurative 
enactments of violence by the colonized against the colonizer in which the 
internal dissonance can at first only be figuratively is 
prefaced by "..for in reality your purpose in coming together is to allow 
the accumulated libido, the hampered aggressivity, to dissolve as in a 
volcanic eruption." and is followed by "the evil humors are undammed, and 
flow away with a din as of molten lava."  As Fanon is speaking with the 
voice of the colonized it seems he is speaking of the dialectic of the 
internalization of colonization as being like that between possession and 
exorcism which leaves the colonized with a motivational stuckness which 
must be kept balanced rather than be tipped into the downhill spiral of 
either complete possession or a siphoning off of the "nervousness"....the 
volcano explodes/implodes/oozes lava/makes noise...has many 
expressions....but remains a volcano, a vehicle for other forces....

I see the "fantastic ride" as one which allows the colonized to stand 
still.......a trip that goes which the violence against the 
self and the blocking of self expression/actualization is possibly the greatest

it would be good to get a reading from someone who reads this in 
french....and can expound on the figures of speech he is using here...

  ....At 09:35 PM 12/11/2000 +0000, you wrote:
>>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
>>      --- from list ---
>Presumably he is referring to shamanic journeys undertaken in trance. 
>There is also a tradition of mystical journeys through the spheres on 
>David Henderson
>90B Harberton Road
>London N19 3JP
>Tel. 020-7263 9525
>     --- from list ---


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