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What would it be for this drama to be understood in its own terms, from its own standpoint, on its own ground ? This is not simply a question of perspective awaiting its unasking, since what we speak of is this radical being beside itself of blackness, its appositionality. The standpoint, the home territory, chez lui—Charles Lam Markmann’s insightful mistranslation of Fanon illuminates something that Richard Philcox obscures by way of correction, Among one’s own, signifies a relationality that displaces the already displaced impossibility of home and the modes of relationality that home is supposed to afford (Fanon 1967). Can this sharing of a life in homelessness, this interplay of the refusal of what has been refused and consent, this undercommon appositionality, be a place from which to know, a place out of which emerges neither self-consciousness nor knowledge of the other but an improvisation that proceeds from somewhere on the other side of an unasked question ? But not simply to be among one’s own ; rather, also, to live among one’s own in dispossession, to live among the ones who cannot own, the ones who have nothing and who, in having nothing, have everything. To live, in other words, within the general commonness and openness of a life in Deleuze’s sense (hence the necessity of a philosophy of life ; hence the necessity but also the rigor of a disbelief in social death, where social death is precisely understood as the imposition of the subject’s necessity rather than the refusal of the subject’s possibility, which, in any case, the imposition founds and enforces. At stake is the curve, the suppleness and subtlety, not only of contemplation on social life but of contemplative social life ; at stake is the force of an extraphenomenological poetics of social life. And so we arrive, again and again, at a profound impulse in Fanon that—as Chandler indicates in his reading, which is the initial reading, of Du Bois—constitutes Du Bois’s horizon and which appears in the various forms of that question whose necessity is so fundamental that it must be unasked—the question of the meaning of (black) being, the question of the meaning of (black) things. We study in the sound of an unasked question. Our study is the sound of an unasked question. We study the sound of an unasked question. In the absence of the amenity (some pleasantness or pleasantry of welcome or material comfort), what is borne in the emptiness or nothingness of the amenity (of which love or soul is born, in exhaustion, as a society of friends), what are the other elements of mu ? Chant and ko¯an and moan and Sprechgesang, and babble and gobbledygook, le petit nègre, the little nigger, pidgin, baby talk, bird talk, Bird’s talk, bard talk, bar talk, our locomotive bar walk and black chant, our pallet cries and shipped whispers, our black notes and black cant, the tenor’s irruptive habitation of the vehicle, the monastic preparation of a more than three-dimensional transcript, an imaginal manuscript we touch upon the walls and one another, so we can enter into the hold we’re in, where there is no way we were or are.

« Blackness and nothingness (Mysticism in the Flesh) »
South Atlantic Quarterly n° 112
p. 737–780
lien apposition chandler deleuze du bois fanon moten sprechgesang