‘Narrative Community: Voices of Israeli Backpackers’ – Book Review

Debaprasad Bandyopadhyay

দেবপ্রসাদ বন্দ্যোপাধ্যায়

 Indian Statistical Institute, Kolkata


Indian Statistical Institute

May 7, 2008

Chaim Noy, NARRATIVE COMMUNITY: VOICES OF ISRAELI BACKPACKERS, Wayne State University Press, 2007

Abstract: 
This book under review by Chaim Noy illustrates the theatrical performances of storytelling by Israeli backpackers. It is based on forty-five narrative interviews with the backpackers and those interviews are represented in a non-authoritarian quasi direct discourse. He divided his book in three parts with nine chapters. 

The first part includes two chapters on the critical introduction on the ”who’s who” of the backpackers and the methodological aspects (sampling, individual non-quantitative interviews, ethnomethodology etc.) of the survey, where Noy describes his own involvement as a backpacker as well as a researcher with self-reflexivity.

The second part deals with the ”Quotations and Voices” and is divided into six chapters. In this part Noy structures his corpus collected from different domains (from the ”real” site of mountains, roads, hotels to the virtual reality of the television station) and he deals with different modes of representations. The journey begins with floating quotations and ends with the problematic question of self-transformation. This self-transformation comes as a ”comic relief” in the context of the whole theatrical representation by Noy, as he himself calls this an ”intermezzo”. Thus, this very term places the whole text within the semantic world of 18th century musical opera. Though, ”intermezzo” refers to a transitional moment in between two musical movements in the 19th century use of the term, I have stipulated the meaning of the ”comic relief” taking cue from Noy’s description of his experience of smoking marijuana (”Arriving at the Destination: No Transcendence”, pp. 24-5).

And again in the third site, the question of self-transformation is depicted with a summary of the previous chapters in the epilogue and appendix. Noy self-consciously reports the ”no transcendence” phenomenon as emancipation is an ”impossible real” in the world of cursed Sisyphus.

 

Number of Pages in PDF File: 7

Keywords: Quasi Direct Discourse, intermezzo, Qualitative Discourse Analysis

About Debaprasad Bandyopadhyay

Debaprasad Bandyopdhyay (b. 1965), through his 25 years journey in the realm of institutionalized academics did 27 different types of works, which are someway different from the earlier paradigms or, one might say that those works are not only mere reproductions of his inherited institutionalized cultural capital or a mimicry of a colonially imposed model that leads to intellectual anorexia or rather a type falsification of earlier paradigms. However, that might be not only a lofty claim but it also hid the fact that all our information and knowledge are socially accumulated knowledge that was, it is matter of regret, posed as private property through the sign © and the wisdom is rarely available. Bandyopadhyay’s works and projects are the products of his social milieu. Bandyopadhyay is a local sub-altern public sphere academician, who avoids the technical intelligentsia (followers of Sahib’s models and they are not committed to the persons who are accommodating surplus work-time to them by performing surplus labour) or inorganic intellectuals and thus fails to be a part of academic tribe and its subsequent socialization process. Of course, that socialization process does not lead to legendary Socratic dialogue. He is also a political activist though he has not affiliated to any political parties as he was always talking about the corporatization of political parties within the money-sign-based democratic system. He is a regular participant in TV and radio talk-shows and documentary films, street-corners’ talks and International seminars on socio-political, psychological, linguistic, environmental and economic issues. He also writes editorial columns in newspapers. He is also a part of parallel academics as it is found in West Bengal’s Little Magazine Movement, though that was not counted as the part his academic pursuit by his parent institute. His parent institute justifiably does not believe in the domain of parallel academics as this unorganized sector does not directly contribute in the transactions of formal/organized print capitalist eco-enemy paper-publication. Though the dissemination of knowledge is also observed in this space of these parallel academics as all these writings in public sphere simultaneously influence the classroom-discourse and some of them are translated into English, French and Italian. Not only that, Bandyopadhyay also sought engagement with the people, who, by supplying their surplus labour, are sustaining his livelihood. Bandyopadhyay, a linguist by training and a Ph.D.-holder (1996), a junior lecturer (1999-2011) in an autonomous central government institute in India, tries his best for those from he has received and is receiving the manifestation of surplus labour by executing some self-funded projects on economic issues in West Bengal, India. Recently he has got a consolation promotion to the post of Assistant Professor. He has done following 27 research works: 1. Crippled Creativity: An inquiry into language, psyche, society: 2. VALENCY OF BANGLA VERB AND PROBLEM OF COMPOUND VERBS: 3. Archaeology of Bangla Grammar : 4. CAN COMPUTER SPEAK? 5. FUZZY LOGICAL EXPRESSION IN BANGLA : 6. FOLKLORE AND FOLK-LANGUAGE: MYTH OR REALITY? 7. HISTORICISM IN THE DISCOURSE OF BANGLA LANGUAGE AND LITERATURE 8. ABHABA, ECP, DELETION AND TRACE 9. SVATVA OR MY-NESS AND ECONOMIC ENTITLEMEMT 10. TRANSLATION STUDIES 11. MASCULINITY STUDIES 12. YAYATI & BABAR COMPLEX 13. SOCIO-ECONOMIC SURVEYS IN AGRICULTURE AND INDUSTRY IN WEST BENGAL 14. CONCEPT OF BODY IN INDIAN PHILOSOPHY AND ARCHITECTURE 15. THE CONCEPT OF ERROR (KHYATI) IN MAD-(WO)MEN’S LANGUAGE 16. THE CONCEPT OF PERCEPTUAL TIME AND GRAMMATICAL TIME IN BANGLA 17. BANGLA CALLIGRAPHY, LANGUAGE ART AND LINGUISTIC PEDAGOGY 18. WO(L)D SPACES: NON-EXISTENCE OF WORDS 19. ANEKANTA METHODS 20. SILENCEME: SILENT OTHER IN LINGUISTICS 21. IMAGINED BOUDARIES AND PRE-COLONIAL INDIAN IMAGI-NATION 22. MAKING OF THE INDIAN PHILOSOPHY OF SCIENCE 23. SEGMENTING THE SUPRASEGMENTALS : MUSICKING IN SPEAKING 24. INTERPRETING GENETIC STRUCTURE BY DEPLOYING LINGUISTIC STRUCTURE 25. GLOTTOPOLITICS OF LINGUISTIC SUBALTERNITY OR AN AGENDA FOR PLANNING FROM BELOW 26. SEMIOTICS OF PHOTOGRAPHY 27. SOCIOLOGY OF CONTEMPORARY ACADEMICS
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