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of Kishorganj in East Bengal in the year of Queen Victoria's. Diamond Jubilee. His first book, The Autobiography of an. Unknown Indian, was. Literary Encyclopedia: head Chaudhuri, Nirad C.: The Autobiography of an Unknown Indian () Delphine Munos (University of Liège) Genre: Autobiography. The autobiography of an unknown Indian. byChaudhuri, Nirad C. Topics Chaudhuri, Nirad C. -- , India -- Biography. PublisherHogarth.

Autobiography Of An Unknown Indian Pdf

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The autobiography of an unknown Indian by Chaudhuri, Nirad C.; 12 editions; First published in ; Subjects: Biography, Civilization. Get this from a library! The autobiography of an unknown Indian. [Nirad C Chaudhuri]. Unknown Indian: A Note. M.K. NAIK. Nirad Chaudhuri has claimed that The Autobiography of an Unknown. Indian is "more of a national than personal history ,".

Delphine Munos.

Nationalism: Contexts and Conditions

Literary Encyclopedia: Autobiography literary. Chaudhuri makes the wish that his autobiographical enterprise should bring about a rupture between the first and second stages of his life: I want a declaration of faith for myself, because after passing the age of fifty I am faced with the compulsion to write off all the years I have lived and begin life anew. The battle is not given up. He first depicts himself as retreating before panzers, those German tanks used against the Allies during World War II.

Neither his literary practice, his choice of language, nor his anti-nationalism can be seen in isolation […]. In many ways, the structure of the book reflects this circuitous movement from disowning to recovery, and, finally, from recovery to new beginnings — though the latter may also read, as we shall see further, like an extended suicide note.

In this chronological portion of the narrative, Chaudhuri performs what can be thought of as the typical colonial split — to refer back to Chakrabarty — by bearing witness to his parallel, at times conflicting, internalization of Western and Bengali influences.

Significantly, the image here is one of metaphorical death through separation of the mind from the body: There never was a time in my life when I was so passively and weakly pessimistic. I thought continuously of death [ It was as if the spirit of a man lying dead on the wayside had taken a perch on a withered branch nearby and were crying bitterly as it contemplated the inert body for which it still felt a passionate and agonizing love.

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They seemed to be no cure for them Chaudhuri , However, by closing the chronological account of his life on the nadir of his existence in his early twenties, Chaudhuri makes a strategic choice, since he will retrospectively come to understand this personal event as deeply linked to the evolution of Indian history, thus finally reconciling Self and Nation in a desperate embrace.

In short, there is an impossible identification at the heart of The Autobiography of an Unknown Indian.

The implication is that, some twenty years before the Independence, the syncretism between the Indian and Western cultures that originally gave birth to the Bengal Renaissance had already ceased to flirt, under the all-pervading impact of Gandhism, with high culture — the only form of culture that seems acceptable, and sustainable, to the author. Chaudhuri , 50 , Chaudhuri paradoxically recovers his Indianness.

The autobiography of an unknown Indian

Works Cited Dipesh Chakrabarty. Padmini Mongia. Arnold, [], Chaudhuri, Amit. Reflections on India, Literature, and Culture.

20 Must Read Gems of Indian English Literature

Peter Lang, , Chaudhuri, Nirad C. The Autobiography of an Unknown Indian.

Because of its perennial value, the work, which first appeared in , still holds interest and is worthy of review. Though not really an autobiography, the book's strength and validity grow from Chaudhuri's brilliant observation of Indian culture, for Chaudhuri is not among India's freedom fighters; he is neither a sage nor a seer; he is neither a "guru" nor a political figure; he is not even a revolutionary.

He is just a mere average, unknown Indian!

In Coleridge's view, any life, however insignificant, if of interest and truthfully and honestly told, would be fit for an autobiography. It is with no intention of being snide that I suggest that though Chaudhuri's autobiography may not command respect with St.

Background and Progression

Augustine's Confessions or Mahatma Gandhi's My Experiments with Truth, yet it engages the reader's attention for its intellectual vigor, disturbing honesty, and tenacious truthfulness. As an unknown Indian until the publication of his work, Chaudhuri may be insignificant.

Yet, unlike Montaigne who considers his own life unimpressive and ordinary, thus a fit subject for the study of common humanity, Chaudhuri believes that his "personal development has in no wise been typical of a modern Indian of the twentieth century.

It is certainly exceptional, and may even be unique. It is, however, loaded with social, moral, ethical, and cultural interest, particularly to one who is willing to study and understand sections of the complex Indian society or to an Indian who is keen on being objective and self-critical.

The value of Chaudhuri's "narrative as historical testimony" is unimpaired. His autobiography is charged with intellectual biography Vol.

The book accomplishes more than most fictional works, historical accounts, sociological treatises, or cultural-anthropological studies do.

Perhaps the book is all in one.Using common sense and varying lessons taken from ancient wisdom to modern philosophy, he shows how we can deal with issues of our daily lives, and how we can turn otherwise bad situations into good ones. He saw a similar synthesis in case of Sikhism, which had clear Islamic influences on Hindu mainstream religion. Scharnhorst and Bales take on their irresponsible predecessors with relish, with bluntness and even derision rarely found in academic writing.

Cronin, Richard. Gandhi's spinning wheel became a metaphor of self-reliance, rejecting foreign production, thereby establishing claim for independence. The autobiography of an unknown Indian , University of California Press.