Of all the languages into which the works of Frantz Fanon have been translated, Arabic perhaps holds a special position, given both the contiguity and separation of French and Arabic in Fanon’s life, work and politics, as shaped by his experience of revolutionary Algeria, a country in which, even today, ‘[t]he relationship of language to national identity remains a fraught one’ (Edwards 2002, 99). Although he lived in Algiers and Tunisia for the last eight years of his life, Fanon did not master Arabic, and yet he studied the language and was far from immune to the cultural and linguistic challenges involved in working with his Arabic and Kabyle (Berber) psychiatric patients. Gendzier (1973) describes how Fanon and his colleague at Blida-Joinville, Jacques Azoulay, deliberately set about to increase their knowledge of local cultures, social practices and socio-economic circumstances and, in response, worked self-critically to modify their psychiatric practice (see also Cherki 2006; Shohat 2006, 257–258). Part of this included the novel recruitment of (local) male nurses to act as Arabic and Kabyle interpreters, a practice which garnered their loyalty to the reforms that Fanon was attempting to introduce into the hospital and facilitated communication between doctors and patients, but nevertheless, as Fanon and Azoulay observe in the (French) article they co-authored on their efforts, also served to reinforce the social and linguistic hierarchy of French-colonised Algeria. 2 Fanon wrote in French for the Front de Libération Nationale (FLN) paper El Moudjahid, its Arabic title shared by the French and Arabic editions, just as they shared a building even though ‘each edition had its own writing and editorial staff. In other words, while there was some overlap between the editions, neither the French nor the Arabic existed merely as a translation of the other’ (Stanton 2011, 64). Furthermore, Edwards argues that Fanon’s written French is a purposefully destabilising ‘Arabised French’, achieved ‘through a variety of rhetorical strategies involving movement between French and Arabic’, including the use of untranslated Arabic words—Pirelli’s Italian anthology included a glossary (see Chapter One, this volume)—and French words derived from Arabic etymologies that had entered the language ‘in direct connection to the conquest and colonisation of Algeria’ (Edwards 2002, 101). 3