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Fanon’s The Wretched of the Earth as the Fulfillment of Sartre’s Critique of Dialectical Reason

Robert Bernasconi

Keywords: COLONIALISM; FRANTZ FANON; GROUPS; NATIONAL CONSCIOUSNESS; RACISM; VIOLENCE

Abstract

Frantz Fanon was an enthusiastic reader of Sartre's Critique of Dialectical Reason and in this essay I focus on what can be gleaned from The Wretched of the Earth about how he read it. I argue that the reputation among Sartre's critics of the Critique as a failure on the grounds that it was left incomplete should take into account its presence in Fanon's The Wretched of the Earth. Their shared perspectives on the systemic character of racism and colonialism, on the genesis and fragility of groups, and on parties indicates the vitality of the ideas set out in the Critique. However, these similarities between the two thinkers are offset by their differences on national consciousness and on the rural masses. I end by speculating about a certain defence on Sartre's part toward Fanon's concrete experience.

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