Sunday, April 23, 2023

Pankaj Mishra misquotes Frantz Fanon and I misrember Claude McKay

In an old issue of the New Yorker (6 December 2021), I found Pankaj Mishra's article on "Frantz Fanon's Enduring Legacy," which quotes (and slightly misquotes) Fanon's "The Wretched of the Earth" (1961): "As [soon as] you and your fellow men are cut down like dogs, there is no other solution but to use every means available to reestablish your weight as a human being.” This image from the Martinique-born Fanon reminded me of Jamaican-born Claude McKay's poem "If We Must Die" (1919), but I was misremembering its first line: "If we must die, let it not be like hogs." McKay's "mad and hungry dogs" are the oppressors, not the oppressed. (Andrew Shields, #111words, 23 April 2023)


1 comment:

martine said...

The Wretched of the Earth was quite an eyeopening read for me when I was at university.