12 12 16

Perhaps this would be cause for black optimism or, at least, some black operations. Perhaps the thing, the black, is tantamount to another, fugitive, sublimity altogether. Some/thing escapes in or through the object’s vestibule ; the object vibrates against its frame like a resonator, and troubled air gets out. The air of the thing that escapes enframing is what I’m interested in—an often unattended movement that accompanies largely unthought positions and appositions. To operate out of this interest might mispresent itself as a kind of refusal of Fanon. But my reading is enabled by the way Fanon’s texts continually demand that we read them—again or, deeper still, not or against again, but for the first time. I wish to engage a kind of pre-op(tical) optimism in Fanon that is tied to the commerce between the lived experience of the black and the fact of blackness and between the thing and the object—an optimism recoverable, one might say, only by way of mistranslation, that bridged but unbridgeable gap that Heidegger explores as both distance and nearness in his discourse on “The Thing.”

« The Case of Blackness »
Criticism n° 50
Project Muse 2009
p. 177–218
apposition black ding fanon heidegger moten