Fanon: The Postcolonial Imagination / Edition 1

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Frantz Fanon was a French psychiatrist turned Algerian revolutionary of Martinican origin, and one of the most important and controversial thinkers of the postwar period. A veritable "intellect on fire," Fanon was a radical thinker with original theories on race, revolution, violence, identity and agency.

This book is an excellent introduction to the ideas and legacy of Fanon. Gibson explores him as a truly complex character in the context of his time and beyond. He argues that for Fanon, theory has a practical task to help change the world. Thus Fanon's "untidy dialectic," Gibson contends, is a philosophy of liberation that includes cultural and historical issues and visions of a future society. In a profoundly political sense, Gibson asks us to reevaluate Fanon's contribution as a critic of modernity and reassess in a new light notions of consciousness, humanism, and social change.

This is a fascinating study that will interest undergraduates and above in postcolonial studies, literary theory, cultural studies, sociology, politics, and social and political theory, as well as general readers.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Caricatured as a mindless apostle of violence, Fanon emerges inNigel Gibson's rigorous and subtle analysis as a major humanisticthinker about injustice, a serious critic of nationalism and, forthe first time, as an impressively profound philosopher of modernpost-colonial politics and culture." Edward W. Said, ColumbiaUniversity

"This definitive interpretation of Fanon brilliantly touches theheart. Gibson presents a compelling and engaging analysis ofFanon's original theory of the racial gaze, of revolution, and ofFanon's complex theory of violence. All the perennial themes ofpolitical theory are masterfully presented in this major book.Readers will feel morally civilized after they read it." TeodrosKiros, Harvard University

"Gibson's prose is elegant and clear and this book is, by far,the best introduction to Fanon's life and work. But it does morethan this....The key idea that runs throughout the book is that ofthe dialectic. Gibson argues that there is an unstable, criticaland creative element in the heart of FAnon's thought that seeks tomove through apparently irreconcilable contradictions. This kind ofanalysis is what we would expect from any responsible engagementwith Fanon's work and Gibson develops it very well. But he goesfurther and makes an original and significant contribution byshowing that for Fanon this kind of progress requires thedevelopment of a fighting culture." Richard Pithouse, SundayIndependent

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780745622606
  • Publisher: Wiley
  • Publication date: 6/28/2003
  • Series: Key Contemporary Thinkers Series
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 264
  • Product dimensions: 6.20 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Meet the Author

Nigel C. Gibson is Director of the Honors Program at Emerson College, Boston, and a research associate in the Department of Africana Studies at Brown University and the Department of Afro-American Studies at Harvard University.

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Table of Contents


Abbreviations for Fanon’s Works.


1. The Racial Gaze: Black Slave, White Master.

2. Psychoanalysis and the Black’s Inferiority Complex.

3. Negritude and the Descent into a “Real Hell”.

4. Becoming Algerian.

5. Violent Concerns.

6. Radical Mutations: Toward a Fighting Culture.

7. Crossing the Dividing Line: Spontaneity and Organization.

8. Nationalism and a New Humanism.




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