Unformatted text preview: objectivity into productive subjectivity” (88-89). The dread under which such aspirations to Human capacity labor (a labor of
disavowal) is catalyzed by the knowledge, however unconscious, that civil society is held together by a structural
prohibition against recognizing and incorporating a being that is dead, despite the fact that this being is sentient
and so appears to be very much alive. Civil society cannot embrace what Saidiya Hartman calls “the abject status of the willless object” (Scenes of Subjection 52). Explicating the rhetorical and philosophical impossibility of such an embrace, Judy writes: The assumption of the Negro’s
transcendent worth as a human presupposes the Negro’s being comprehensible in Western modernity’s terms. Put somewhat more crudely, but nonetheless to the point,
the humanization in writing achieved in the slave narrative require[s] the conversion of the incomprehensible African into the comprehensible Negro. The historical
mode of conversion was the linguistic representation of slavery: the...
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This document was uploaded on 03/26/2014.
- Spring '14