Alan's Reviews > Black Skin, White Masks

Black Skin, White Masks by Frantz Fanon
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's review
Aug 01, 2008

bookshelves: to-read

On summary comparison, it's hard to overstate how bloodless and jilted the 2008 (Richard Philcox)translation seems next to to the 1967 Charles Lam Markmann. I don't speak French. However, I do read English. If Markmann's version is only so beautiful and compelling because he's taken liberties, I might be able to live with that. The worse accusation might be aimed at Philcox: has he made Fanon more staid and classical in attempts to make him feel more canonical? Isn't that kind of like posthumous whiteface? Somebody that speakie de French, take a look! Tell me!

compare here:
(Note that it says that this one is the Constance Farrington Translation here, but that is wrong.)

with here:

With some of the original French here:

How much you want a bet that Philcox is English and Markmann is not? Yeah? Ok, I'm looking it up.

Couldn't find him. Still, a striaght man with that much penis in his name ought to be able to handle the french language. Maybe he has?

And, anyone know about the Constance Farrington one (1963)?
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Comments <span class="smallText"> (showing 1-2 of 2) </span> <span class="smallText">(2 new)</span>

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pony I'd say that the Philcox takes a lot of liberties. For example, translating "le Noir" as "Black man" is not accurate; although wanting to avoid "Negro" as the offensive word that it is nowadays, it is nevertheless a more faithful translation. Avoiding it dehistorcizes the text in a powerful way. I'd stick with the Markmann translation, and for other reasons too; but I only looked at them in a fairly cursory way.

message 2: by Alan (new) - added it

Alan You are my all. I love you WITH ALL MY LOINS! The book is stunning so far. Also stunning is Denton Welch. And Paul Virilio. Geebus. Thanks.

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