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Title: "Living after the flesh and the spirit" : language and identity in M.K. Gandhi's The story of my experiments with truth (1940)
Author: Neary, Clara
Awarding Body: Queen's University Belfast
Current Institution: Queen's University Belfast
Date of Award: 2011
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Abstract:
t Positioned at the juncture of literature and linguistics, this thesis undertakes a stylistic analysis of the English translation of Gandhi's autobiography The Story of My Experiments with Truth (1940), the most widely read version of the text both within and without India. Despite the continuing scholarly interest in all aspects of Gandhi's life and work, his autobiography has garnered little critical attention. Those few critics who have engaged with the text have largely approached it as a biographical representation, failing to capitalise on the self-reflexivity characteristic of the genre. This thesis employs cognitive and corpus stylistic models to interrogate Gandhi's self-representation. In so doing, it challenges prevalent assumptions of the text's linguistic "artlessness" and endeavours to debunk concomitant myths of the author's psychological "simplicity". It draws upon Catherine Emmott's (2002) cognitive stylistic typology of "split selves" to problematise the textual representation of Gandhi's selfhood. Given the centrality of empathy to Gandhian ideology, theoretical and methodological frameworks of narrative empathy are integrated into a corpus linguistic analysis which probes the presence of potentially empathetic. linguistic markers in the text. It concludes by analysing the text's linguistic and conceptual metaphor use through application of a modified version of Conceptual Metaphor Theory, thereby simultaneously challenging received critical opinion as to the text's literary and linguistic 'simplicity' and exposing its writer- subject's underlying belief-systems. Through the application of corpus and cognitive linguistic models of analysis, this thesis reveals both the linguistic intricacies of Gandhi's autobiography and the psychological complexities of its writer-subject. In so doing, it challenges prevalent, unsubstantiated critical assumptions regarding both text and writer and builds upon nascent scholarship that questions the myth of Gandhi's selfhood.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID: uk.bl.ethos.557395  DOI: Not available
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