While Simone de Beauvoir and Frantz Fanon are icons of the French existential movement—each being the influential progenitors of feminist theory and postcolonial studies, respectively—their names, lives, and works are rarely examined in concert. This essay argues for the intertextuality of The Second Sex and Black Skin, White Masks as inextricably bound discourses on subject formation and the other. Via close reading, I address the long-standing citational elision of Beauvoir from Fanon’s analysis of alienation, with particular address to the famous “Look! A Negro!” scene. Through this analysis I point out the question of Fanon’s voicing of the self toward the white male intellectual figured through Jean-Paul Sartre, which marks the question of citational practice as particular to feminist and critical race concerns, particularly in addressing the black woman. Drawing on Clare Hemmings’s notion of recitation, I read theologically Fanon’s and Beauvoir’s respective turns to liberation and as such consider the critical-constructive possibilities for black and feminist futures in viewing these works of Beauvoir and Fanon as kindred texts.
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Amey Victoria Adkins; Black/Feminist Futures: Reading Beauvoir in Black Skin, White Masks. South Atlantic Quarterly 1 October 2013; 112 (4): 697–723. doi: https://doi.org/10.1215/00382876-2345243
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