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Fanon’s text [Black Skin, White Masks] is still open and it still opens. Now you have to go inside it. When you’re inside, now, you have to go outside of it. Actually, you’re being blown out of it—this happens within the context of a single authored piece when you realize it’s not a single authored piece. Yeah, it’s under his name, and one might say, of course that what I’m saying is not only simple and true but also mundane. Anybody who understands anything about reading will come to know this; “yeah, that’s intertextuality.” But, there’s another way to think about it that lets you realize that it’s even deeper than that. It’s not just the simple fact of intertextuality that you’re talking about. It’s different. Recognizing that text is intertext is one thing. Seeing that a text is a social space is another. It’s a deeper way of looking at it. To say that it’s a social space is to say that stuff is going on: people, things, are meeting there and interacting, rubbing off one another, brushing against one another—and you enter in to that social space, to try to be part of it. So, what I guess I’m trying to say is that the terms are important insofar as they allow you, or invite you, or propel you, or require you, to enter into that social space. But once you enter into that social space, terms are just one part of it, and there’s other stuff too. There are things to do, places to go, and people to see in reading and writing—and it’s about maybe even trying to figure out some kind of ethically responsible way to be in that world with other things.

Fred Moten

Connected by Sam Hart
a month ago

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