"Escapes" and Displacements: Notes on Frantz Fanon's Oppositional Discourse

Part Two: Displacement and Opposition

Alejandro De Oto, El Colegio De México, CEAA

6 In this argument taken from Bhabha, reiteration or repetition can be traced back to Freud's considerations on the difference between repetition and memory (ôRecordar, repetir y reelaborar"-Recalling, repeating, reelaborating-)

In this argument parcially linked with Bhabha's concepts about repetition (parcially because I am not dealing here with what this author considers as possibilities for subversion in repetitions that undermine authority, legitimacy, originality of colonial discourse), reiteration or repetition can be traced back to Freud's considerations on the difference between repetition and memory ("Recordar, repetir y reelaborar" -- Recalling, repeating, reelaborating --). For Freud, from the psychoanalytic dimension, repetition blocks memory and, consequently, makes the past appear as if it were present, and to be forgotten as past (Luis Hornstein: 1971). This is a central argument in Fanon's emancipation discourse, provided that, in this case, reference is made to a collective subject. In postcolonial societies, the reiteration of the logic of the colonial discourse is a kind of "pathology." For this reason, I venture to say that displacement is a form of making history insofar as it relocates what corresponds in the past and liberates the present from an act of mimesis. Luis Hornstein, quoted here, uses an expression that clearly reflects this point: "Remembering to forget" (171). The problem of repetition is examined further below in this essay.



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