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Writing the SelfThe Life and Philosophy of a Bengali Baul Guru$
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Jeanne Openshaw

Print publication date: 2009

Print ISBN-13: 9780198062479

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2012

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198062479.001.0001

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The Androgynous Self

The Androgynous Self

(p.188) 6 The Androgynous Self
Writing the Self

Jeanne Openshaw

Oxford University Press

This chapter moves from the self as naked, ‘natural’ individual to a notion of the female–male couple, that is, the androgynous self. It considers the transformation in Raj's attitude to women, discernible in the Jīban-carit, and in subsequently written texts. It argues that this transformation in Raj's attitude to women accompanies a parallel metamorphosis in his notion of the self. It portrays the ideas of Raj and other Bartaman-panthis, especially on gender, as arising from a varied historical matrix, including secular and religious, literary and oral traditions. However, individual Bartaman-panthis at times pushed inherited contents beyond previous limits in extolling not just divinized women, but ordinary unidealized ones at well.

Keywords:   self, male-female couple, Raj Krishna, Jīban-carit, Bartaman-panthis, women, traditions

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