Reconsidering Autistic Narrative Agency and the Autobiography: The Curious Case of Tito Mukhopadhyay's Beyond the Silence: My Life, the world and Autism

Shibashish Purkayastha, PhD Research Scholar (English), Department of Humanities and Social Sciences, Indian Institute of Technology, Guwahati, Assam, India.
2020 Rupkatha Journal on Interdisciplinary Studies in Humanities  
The primary purpose of this paper will be to investigate whether in narrativizing the subtleties of shame and stigma into the form of a coherent autobiography, the autistic autobiographer, Tito Mukhopadhyay, intentionally or unwittingly, explores different avenues regarding the types of autobiographical accounts, which causes us to re-imagine our understandings of autism and numerous other forms of cognitive impairment, and move past excessively deterministic and essentialist/normalizing
more » ... cal discourses of cure and care. The study shall work within theories of postcolonialism, phenomenology, narrative theory, trauma studies and life writing studies. A literature review based on the extant scholarship in the field of life writing studies, health humanities and other disciplines has been conducted and after the identification of the research gap, this study chiefly seeks to purport that the lived experience of autism can be at variance with the prevalent biomedical and neurological understanding of this condition. By taking into cognizance the various material realities of the patients as evinced in their autie-biographies, I maintain that this information can come to the aid of medical practitioners, psychologists and psychoanalysts in considering the subjective dimensions of experience of autism apart from the monolithic and monolingual truth as evidenced by a scientific enquiry of autism spectrum disorder. This also suggests some appropriate conversation starters about the crossing points between a debilitating condition and the act of composing one's life narrative with such a debilitating condition.
doi:10.21659/rupkatha.v12n6.06 fatcat:ui4hbnk3jrffrg2agoq52otnf4