imagining space …

…the title “Black Atlantic” was taken of your theory work of the same name of 1993. It named a transkulturellen area, in which black history and present can be located. How is the “Black Atlantic” characterised?
Paul Gilroy: My intention was to tear culture history from its close relationship with nations and to bring the history of black intellectual – yes, they exsist! – into a differenciated relationship to the splendiest evolvements of European history of ideas. The actual provocation of the book probably was established through the fact that culture was no more in accordance with its latin origins, as the word agricultura meant in it, as a sedentary and natively rooted phenomenon.
From this traditional ecology of affiliation I tried to break away and dive into an environment, which remains in constant flow. The medium water can be found on one hand in steadily new mixing conditions, on the other hand as an extremely sustainable substance, which also forms the majority of our body.
Nevertheless it was never intended to use this fluid conception of culture as an play-off of the sea against the territory of land. I rather wanted to show, how the oceanic shapes the mainland. Therefore I speak of the Black Atlantic as a “negative continent”, which forces us to take a look at the connecting and traffic routes of the black Diaspora.
Thus is the Black Atlantic historically and geographically established as a clearly defined area?

Yes, but it is as well part of our imagination. One for example must just think of which member states meanwhile form the so-called transatlantic alliance. The Black Atlantic is real, imaginary and symbolic all at the same time. …

telling stories ..

Frederic Jameson’s remark on the shizophrenic in the postmodernism is know …

I always insist on a third possibility beyond the old bourgeois ego and the schizophrenic subject of our organization in society today: a collective subject, decentered but not schizophrenic. It emerges in certain forms of storytelling that can be found in Third World literature, in testimonial literature, in gossip and rumours and things of this kind. It is a storytelling which is neither personal in the modernist sense, nor depersonalized in the pathological sense of the schizophrenic text.
It is decentered for the stories you tell there as an individual subject don’t belong to you since you

story telling, Toronto, 06/04
don’t control them the way the master subject of Modernism would. But you don’t just suffer them in the schizophrenic isolation of the first-world subject of today.
Interview with Fredric Jameson by Anders Stephanson

two further links:
Storytelling’s Survival
African Storytelling

Print Friendly, PDF & Email