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“Mastery of language affords remarkable power.”

 

Happy birthday, Frantz Fanon! Here are some quotes from the philosopher, revolutionary, and writer.

“When I write things like that, I am trying to touch my reader affectively, or in other words irrationally, almost sensually. For me, words have a charge. I find myself incapable of escaping the bite of a word, the vertigo of a question mark.”

“An endless task, the cataloguing of reality. We accumulate facts, we discuss them, but with every line that is written, with every statement that is made, one has the feeling of incompleteness.”

“There is a zone of nonbeing, an extraordinary sterile and arid region, an utterly naked declivity where an authentic upheaval can be born.”

“Imperialism leaves behind germs of rot which we must clinically detect and remove from our land but from our minds as well.”

“The oppressed will always believe the worst about themselves.”

“Today I believe in the possibility of love; that is why I endeavor to trace its imperfections, its perversions.”

“Each generation must, out of relative obscurity, discover its mission, fulfill it, or betray it.”

“To speak a language is to take on a world, a culture.”

“In the world through which I travel, I am endlessly creating myself. I am a part of Being to the degree that I go beyond it.”

“O my body, make of me always a man who questions!”

“What matters is not to know the world but to change it.”

“To educate the masses politically does not mean, cannot mean, making a political speech. What it means is to try, relentlessly and passionately, to teach the masses that everything depends on them; that if we stagnate it is their responsibility, and that if we go forward it is due to them too, that there is no such thing as a demiurge, that there is no famous man who will take the responsibility for everything, but that the demiurge is the people themselves and the magic hands are finally only the hands of the people.”

“When we revolt it’s not for a particular culture. We revolt simply because, for a variety of reasons, we can no longer breathe.”

“The people come to understand that wealth is not the fruit of labour but the result of organised, protected robbery. Rich people are no longer respectable people; they are nothing more than flesh-eating animals, jackals, and vultures, which wallow in the people’s blood.”

 

 

John Madera's fiction may be found in Conjunctions, Opium Magazine, The &Now Awards 2: The Best Innovative Writing, and many other journals. His criticism may be found in American Book Review, Bookforum, The Review of Contemporary Fiction, Rain Taxi: Review of Books, The Believer, The Brooklyn Rail, and many other venues. Recipient of an M.F.A. in Literary Arts from Brown University, John Madera lives in New York City, where he runs Rhizomatic and manages and edits Big Other.

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