Odiambo, David

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    The Minoritarian and Black Reason: A Philosophico-Literary Investigation
    (Rowman & Littlefield, 2021) Odhiambo, David
    The Minoritarian and Black Reason: A Philosophico-Literary Investigation addresses the question, how can we understand and relate responsibly to others who differ from us in our everyday concerns? The work looks at theories about difference in a variety of philosophical texts and novels from the early modern and modern periods to examine their various approaches to the problem of representational language. The author discusses how these distinct methods of thought present the Black-figure, and critiques how imagined blackness or Black reason willfully looks away from the African presence. Central to this inquiry are key concepts from Gilles Deleuze and Felix Guattari in a description of the minoritarian as a non-representational method that discloses affective intensity in naked life (zoe), beings of the sensible (sentiendum), and personae. So, it is presented as a third term in an ungrounded field of experience composed of assemblages or social networks. Hence, the book deconstructs a unified structuralist ontology to propose a line of flight from a model of logic used to objectify and reproduce identities of people from a varied sphere of political rights (bios).
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    James Baldwin’s Another Country as an Abstract Machine
    (The Pennsylvania State University, 2017) Odhiambo, David
    This article on James Baldwin’s third novel, Another Country, examines how abstract machines diagram an unfolding flow of desires in a bipolar process of becoming that produces two distinct genres in Baldwin’s novel, a protest-literature narrative and an asubjective text. One abstract machine, described as a machinic assemblage by Gilles Deleuze and Félix Guattari in A Thousand Plateaus: Capitalism and Schizophrenia, shapes the perceptions (cognition), significations (meaning), and language (representation) of a protest-literature narrative that takes place in Greenwich Village during the late 1950s. Embedded within this text is an abstract machine described by Deleuze and Guattari as a collective assemblage of enunciation. Its bipolar movement interrupts Baldwin’s novel by rupturing the stable surface with neurologically based emotions expressed by a chain of significations that enable it to become a new text, and in doing so, unbecome what it was. Consequently, this article examines how these abstract machines shape a novel that generates new meanings for the reader as a result of this encounter of discourses.