This book offers intimate readings of a diverse range of global autobiographical literature with an emphasis on the (re)presentation of the physical body. The twelve texts presented here include philosophical autobiography (Nietzsche), autobiographies of self-experimentation (Gandhi and Mishima), literary autobiography (Hemingway, Das) as well as other genres of autobiography, including the graphic novel (Spiegelman, Satrapi), as also documentations of tragedy and injustice and subsequent spiritual overcoming (Ambedkar, Pawar, Angelou, Wiesel).
In exploring different literary forms and orientations of the autobiographies, the work remains constantly attuned to the physical body, a focus generally absent from literary criticism and philosophy or study of leading historical personages, with the exception of patches within phenomenological philosophy and feminism. The book delves into how the authors treated here deal with the flesh through their autobiographical writing and in what way they embody the essential relationship between flesh, spirit and word. It analyses some seminal texts such as Ecce Homo, The Story of My Experiments with Truth, Waiting for a Visa, I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings, A Moveable Feast, Night, Baluta, My Story, Sun and Steel, The Philosophy of Andy Warhol, MAUS and Persepolis.
Lucid, bold and authoritative, this book will be of great interest to scholars and researchers of philosophy, literature, gender studies, political philosophy, media and popular culture, social exclusion, and race and discrimination studies.
Aakash Singh Rathore is Visiting Professor at the Centre for Philosophy, Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi, India and International Fellow of the Center for Ethics and Global Politics-LUISS, Rome, Italy. He is Director of the International Research Network for Religion and Democracy (www.irnrd.org) and the Executive Editor of the journal Plurilogue. He has taught at various universities including Delhi, Toronto, Berlin, Rutgers and Pennsylvania. He is also currently Chief Editor, B. R. Ambedkar: The Quest for Justice (5 volumes).
He has authored and co-edited several books including Hegel's India (2017), Plato's Labyrinth: Sophistries, Lies and Conspiracies in Socratic Dialogues (2017), Indian Political Theory: Laying the Groundwork for Svaraj (2017), Rethinking Indian Jurisprudence: An Introduction to the Philosophy of Law (2018), B.R. Ambedkar's The Buddha and His Dhamma: A Critical Edition (2010), Indian Political Thought: A Reader (2010), Wronging Rights? Philosophical Challenges for Human Rights (2010), From Political Theory to Political Theology: Religious Challenges and the Prospects for Democracy (2010), Reading Hegel: The Introductions (2008), Discoursing the Postsecular: Essays on Habermas' Postsecular Turn (2011), The Future of Political Theology: Religious & Theological Perspectives (2011), Global Justice: Critical Perspectives (2012), and The Complete Indian Wine Guide (2006). He is the Series Editor of `Ethics, Human Rights and Global Political Thought' and `Religion and Democracy: Reconceptualizing Religion, Culture, and Politics in Global Context'. Among his forthcoming works are Mind and Muscle.
He has also finished four grueling Ironman Triathlons, known as the world's most difficult one-day sporting event.