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The Decolonial AbyssMysticism and Cosmopolitics from the Ruins$
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An Yountae

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780823273072

Published to Fordham Scholarship Online: May 2017

DOI: 10.5422/fordham/9780823273072.001.0001

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The Colonial Abyss

The Colonial Abyss

Groundlessness of Being

(p.83) 4 The Colonial Abyss
The Decolonial Abyss

An Yountae

Fordham University Press

This chapter extends the meaning of the abyss by giving it a concrete and contextualized shape. The chapter probes complex crossings that take place at the intersection of the mystical and the political by investigating the colonial impasse from which the Afro-Caribbean decolonial imagination of the (post)negritude movement emerges. In the writings of the Caribbean thinkers one witnesses an extended notion of identity based on relational ontology; the story of the shattered other shapes the very contours of the collective history from which the traumatized self emerges. It is, then, in this very middle, the groundless site lying between the traumatizing past and the dumbfounded present, between fragmentation and reconstruction, and between suffering and redemption, where one begins to reflect upon the possibility of passage, of beginning after trauma. The possibility of the reconstruction of the traumatized self is reconsidered in the extended notion of identity based on relational ontology found in the writings of the Afro-Caribbean thinkers. A comparative reading of Glissant and contemporary continental philosophers (Gilles Deleuze, Jacques Derrida, and Rosi Braidotti) molds the contour of colonial difference emerging in Glissant’s decolonial vision.

Keywords:   colonial difference, decolonial thought, Gilles Deleuze, Frantz Fanon, Edouard Glissant, Middle Passage, negritud, philosophical nomadism

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