Raj’s <i>Jīban-carit</i> and the Autobiographical Genre

Jeanne Openshaw

in Writing the Self

Published in print December 2009 | ISBN: 9780198062479
Published online October 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780199080489 | DOI:
Raj’s Jīban-carit and the Autobiographical Genre

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This chapter returns briefly to Raj's autobiography in order to situate it in the context of the manuscript of which it forms a part, as well as in the context of ‘life-writing’ in India and specifically Bengal. It begins with some preliminary remarks on the Jīban-carit (JC) in the context of the manuscript. It considers the purposes such a manuscript would have served for someone in Raj's position. The chapter then discusses the JC, why it was written, and the autobiographical genre, the JC and Euro-American definitions of ‘autobiography’, Bengali prose autobiographical writing of the nineteenth century, Raj's JC in relation to the Vaishnava renouncer tradition, and Raj's JC in relation to autobiographies of other Bauls and Bartaman-panthis. The Mangal Kabya tradition has also been examined.

Keywords: Raj Krishna; Jīban-carit; autobiographical genre; life-writing; Bengal; Vaishnava renouncer tradition; Bengali prose; Bartaman-panthis

Chapter.  19925 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Philosophy of Religion

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