By Caroline Rooney

This booklet marks a tremendous contribution to colonial and postcolonial reports in its explanation of the African discourse of awareness and its far-reaching analyses of a literature of animism. it is going to be of serious curiosity to students in lots of fields together with literary and significant idea, philosophy, anthropology, politics and psychoanalysis.

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While there could be arguments for and against this, Fanon goes on to proclaim Bantu society as surpassed, and this is a sweepingly rhetorical and wilful gesture in that it shows ignorance of African history and appears to be based on Fanon’s own personal sense of alienation in having lost an African inheritance and having acquired an identification with French culture. This also goes against his injunction that Negro children need be educated not only about European pasts but their own. There are many kinds of political considerations that attend or are bound up with a thinking of animism, spirits, creativity, as hopefully the following chapters will show.

A little earlier he says of her: ‘An illustration of the death instinct is what we find here’ (p. 281). ’20 For Derrida, it is Antigone’s desire that is doomed to death, not that she, somehow, desires death. It is at this point that I would like to suggest that the ‘death drive’ as a concept could be regarded as a defining limit and support of psychoanalytic theory or thought. In Beyond the Pleasure Principle, Freud speaks of the death drive in terms of a necessity to preserve his dualistic theory from the Jungian adherence to a monistic libido.

Fanon rejects Alioune Diop’s celebratory introduction to a French translation of Tempels’ Bantu Philosophy on grounds somewhat similar to Fisher’s objection to a celebration of the spirituality of others that fails to register the political claims and material predicaments of these others. Basically, Fanon sees that the endorsement of a life-affirming African philosophy against the ‘metaphysical misery of Europe’ is not of much use to a political struggle against colonialism. He writes: Be careful!

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