BLOGROLL: “We Can Never Tell the Entire Story of Slavery: In Conversation” An Interview with M. NourbeSe Philip

From 2014, Paul Watkins interviews M. NourbeSe Philip on history, memory, slavery, and the archive:

“M. NourbeSe Philip’s Zong! riffs on the legal document from the King’s Bench hearing. The legal account is one version of what happened, a happening couched in official language that Philip gradually dislodges through the poetic excavation and untelling of the legal text. Reworking the legal document (“Gregson v. Gilbert”) the story is untold through fugal and counterpointed repetition to create a complex weaving of memories, polyphonies, and cacophonies, which respond to and sound the Zong massacre. Zong! thus becomes a chant, an undulation, a shouting, a honking, a groan, and song. It is a song, as Philip attests in “Notanda”: “Song is what has kept the soul of the African intact when they ‘want(ed) water.” It is song that holds the Zong!’s narrative together, which can only be told in its untelling, for what is there but song when words risk enacting a second violence. The following is an interview, which took part over email, between NourbeSe Philip and myself. The interview concerns Philip’s powerful untelling of the Zong massacre.”

Source: We Can Never Tell the Entire Story of Slavery: In Conversation with M. NourbeSe Philip – The Toronto Review of Books

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