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Literary Primitivism$
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Ben Etherington

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9781503602366

Published to Stanford Scholarship Online: May 2018

DOI: 10.11126/stanford/9781503602366.001.0001

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Césaire, Fanon, and Immediacy as a Project

Césaire, Fanon, and Immediacy as a Project

(p.67) Chapter 5 Césaire, Fanon, and Immediacy as a Project
Literary Primitivism

Ben Etherington

Stanford University Press

Chapter 5 is the book’s central literary study. It “slow reads” Frantz Fanon’s epochal essay “The Lived Experience of the Black” as a critical dramatization of Aimé Césaire’s Cahier d’un retour au pays natal (Notebook of a Return to the Native Land). Reconstructing the full literary and philosophical context of the essay, the chapter argues that Fanon’s riposte to Jean-Paul Sartre’s misreading of the primitivism of the negritude poets consists of himself enacting Césaire’s primitivism. In Fanon reading Césaire, we observe literary primitivism achieving consciousness of itself as a historical phenomenon. The chapter argues for the centrality of Césaire’s achievement to literary primitivism, at the heart of which lies a poetics of passionate sarcasm.

Keywords:   Frantz Fanon, “The Lived Experience of the Black,” Jean-Paul Sartre, “Black Orpheus,” Aimé Césaire, Cahier d’un retour au pays natal, immediacy, negritude, rhetoric, style

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