Jeanne Openshaw

in Writing the Self

Published in print December 2009 | ISBN: 9780198062479
Published online October 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780199080489 | DOI:

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The present work has challenged essentialized versions of ‘Bauls’ by considering this phenomenon through the prism of an individual life. In addition to the intriguing and often poignant life story of Raj Krishna, it relates Raj's personal history to the adoption and further innovation of a particular theoretical stance, which may be called ‘Baul’ or ‘Bartaman’. Another aim has been to trace differing constructions of the ‘self’ as they unfold within one life, and are debated within Bengali society, material which significantly differs from ‘Western’ notions of a continuous individuated self. This chapter revisits an issue raised in the introduction, namely how far the significance of this material is confined to an individual life? In other words, how representative is Raj of Bauls or Bartaman-panthis in general?

Keywords: Raj Krishna; Bauls; Bartaman-panthis; self; individual life

Chapter.  5823 words. 

Subjects: Philosophy of Religion

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