The 'Blue Flame': An 'Elliptical' Interaction between Kahlil Gibran and Rabindranath Tagore

Indrani Datta (Chaudhuri)
2010 Rupkatha Journal on Interdisciplinary Studies in Humanities  
This paper focuses on certain aporias in the life and works of a Lebanese American writer, Kahlil Gibran, that reveal his idiosyncratic interest in and preoccupation with India, neither his native nor his adopted country. It also charts out the 'elliptical' connection that this Lebanese immigrant forged with the Indian Nobel laureate, Rabindranath Tagore. A "belated" (Behdad 1) reading of these aspects opens up the possibility of critiquing Gibran's life and writings through the theoretical
more » ... the theoretical framework of Nico Israel's "outlandish"ness (ix), a state that exists between, as Israel has stated, "exilic emplacement" and "diasporic self-fashioning" (16-17). This kind of "reading behind" (Behdad 4) rewrites "a kind of philosophical décalage" (2) that ruptures existing West-centric discourses by destabilizing and displacing them through "other locations...other trajectories of subjectivity, and...forms of knowledge" (Behdad 1). My critiquing of Gibran's life and texts, in this manner, show how his sense of identity, generated out of trans-cultural and transnational spaces, not only engenders a counter discursive practice to the Westcentric politics of exclusion but also tries to rescue non-Western writers, and their literatures, from the "anamnesiac order" (Behdad 3) of such politics.
doi:10.21659/rupkatha.v2n2.02 fatcat:qci335ugdzgrda2vubtfzjodly