The book explores the shifting perceptions regarding the body and the self in the Indian socio-cultural history and psychology, as portrayed in the selected writings of Sudhir Kakar. It analyzes the themes of gender, sexuality and subjectivity in the chosen fictional and nonfictional works of Sudhir Kakar.
Sudhir Kakar is a prominent Indian psychoanalyst, thinker and author who has made significant contributions in the area of sociology, cultural psychology and the philosophical study of belief. The fictional narratives chosen for the study include The Ascetic of Desire, Ecstasy, and Mira and the Mahatma, considered as some of the pioneering and the significant works of the author.
The subject matter of the book has been divided into seven chapters with five core chapters, an introduction and a conclusion. The core chapters delineate the specific aspects of the body and the self as represented in the writings of Sudhir Kakar.
The book is well-structured and provides a focused analysis. It will be useful for the students and the teachers of English Literature through its critical emphasis on historical fiction in Indian English Writing and also for those researching in the area of gender studies and psychoanalysis.
Dr. Divya N. received her Ph.D. in English Language and Literature from Centre for English Studies Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi. Currently she is an Assistant Professor (Permanent Faculty) in the Dept. of English, Sree Kerala Varma College, Thrissur, Kerala. Her major areas of academic interest include gender studies, psychoanalysis and translation studies. She has published extensively in both English and Malayalam languages. Her literary contributions include academic research articles, essays and poems in peer-reviewed national, international and mainstream journals in both English and Malayalam.
Body and the self have always interested and intrigued us. The broader rubric of this text pertains to the nuances of the body and the self as reflected in the selected fiction of Sudhir Kakar. The inextricable and inevitable relationship between the body and the self involves a complex dialectics of representation. The book investigates into the diverse aspects of the "philosophical relativity" between the body and the self.
The simultaneous disjunction and alliance between the body and the self has constantly figured in the canon of Indian English writing. Numerous fictional and non-fictional texts have explored the coexistence of the body and the self. However, compared to the vast corpus of the fiction that emerged on the physical and psychological intricacies, Sudhir Kakar's works have indeed relocated the intricate discourse between the body and the self through psychoanalytic imagination. This book explores Sudhir Kakar's psychological depiction of the human body and the self in his selected fictional narratives. It deciphers and examines the relativity between the physical and the psychological life of the individual.
Documenting the historical and social interventions, including the creative perspective on human sexuality, has become quintessential for a holistic comprehension of the physical and psychological approaches during diverse time spans. The book probes into the contextualisation of the psyche and the body in Ecstasy (2001), Mira and the Mahatma (2004) and The Ascetic of Desire (1998) through the parameters of the body and the self in the Indian society and culture. It explores the selected fiction through a relative study of the social, cultural and religious approach to the body and the self. It investigates into the juxtaposition of the individual life with the historical approaches on the body and the self and analyses the heterogeneous configurations of the body and the self that emerge in the narratives.
I hope that this study will be useful for the students, researchers and teachers of English literature and more specifically for those engaged in Indian English literature and psychoanalytic literary studies.
**Contents and Sample Pages**
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