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Title: Self – Negotiating Borders, Constructing Identity
Authors: Birrento, Ana Clara
Editors: Fernandes, Isabel
Keywords: Self
Yann Martel
Issue Date: 2010
Publisher: OP. CIT
Citation: Birrento, Ana Clara. Self – Negotiating Borders, Constructing Identity, OP. CIT, 12, 57-72, 2010.
Abstract: Inscribed in a critical agenda which discusses questions of identity, of uniqueness and of difference and questions of knowing who is speaking, from where and to whom, this article tries to find a possible answer to a question put by Michel Foucault in ‘Technologies of the Self’ (1988). When asked: ‘what is the self?’ Foucault answered: “Self is a reflexive pronoun and has two meanings – the same and identity” (p.25). It is precisely this latter meaning that, according to the philosopher, shifts the question of ‘what is the self’ to ‘what is the plateau on which I shall find my identity?’In the fictional autobiography Self, written in 1996 by the Spanish born Canadian author Yann Martel, the reader can find several plateaux on which the protagonist tries to find his identity. In its narrative texture, we find an autobiography of a 30 year old writer who tells about his life, who creates a fictional landscape for a possible life. In this fictionalisation of the self and in the creation of possible contexts of experience we can find two layers of existence: on the one hand the experience of the writer, the anguishes and doubts in finding the best form of writing, and, on the other hand, and to me the most interesting one, the experience of the self, put in several contexts, in several filigrees of ontological and epistemological existence. If we take into consideration that the representation of experience is a form of understanding the self and the world, an experience which helps to the creation of retrospective and prospective meanings (Pickering 1997), we shall have to centre our analysis around the processes of production of a subjectivity, an identity and an agency. The protagonist of Self constructs his identity by negotiating borders of uniqueness and difference with his other self, and that the centrality of the experiences produces an articulation of the text, writer and reader, in a dynamic process of discursive alliances, which as configurations of certain practices define where and how people live specific practical relations within specific social contexts.
ISBN: 978-972-762-361-7
Type: bachelorThesis
Appears in Collections:CEL - Publicações - Artigos em Revistas Nacionais Com Arbitragem Científica

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