Tagore Through Portraits: An Intersubjective Picture Gallery

  • Debashish Banerji
Part of the Sophia Studies in Cross-cultural Philosophy of Traditions and Cultures book series (SCPT, volume 7)


This essay deals with subject formation as a dynamic negotiation between self, community, and the public space of modernity. The ideological mythologies which structure the public space of the modern nation are reflected in processes of self-identification at the individual level. This relation can be mediated by the intersubjective space of the postmodern community, not a community based on blood or ideology, but on a shared condition of experience which can be called “human,” in the species sense of the term. The paper deals with Tagore’s home community of Jorasanko as such an affective space of creative mutuality, where a foundational fraternity could ground critique and enable reflection and reinvention of the self in its dynamic relation to the forces of modernity. By looking at the visual language of exchanges coded into portraits of Rabindranath made his nephews Gaganendranath and Abanindranath, I try to trace the locus of this intersubjective space as the amorphous domain of the poet’s mutating self-identification.


Identity politics Modernity Nationalism Visual studies Jorasanko 


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Copyright information

© Springer India 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Indian StudiesUniversity of Philosophical ResearchLos AngelesUSA

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