Cover And Catalog Copy For ‘The Evolution of a Cricket Fan: My Shapeshifting Journey’

The good folks at Temple University Press have a cover design for my forthcoming book, ‘The Evolution of a Cricket Fan: My Shapeshifting Journey.’ Here is the catalog copy for the book: An autobiographical account of a cricket lover’s journey across nations and identities The Evolution of a Cricket Fan: A Shapeshifting Journey Samir Chopra isContinue reading “Cover And Catalog Copy For ‘The Evolution of a Cricket Fan: My Shapeshifting Journey’”

Philosophy As ‘Ways Of Seeing Things’

In Confessions of a Philosopher (Random House, 1997, pp. 399-400) Bryan Magee writes: [T]he most important things great philosophers have to give us are to be got at not by analysing the logic of their arguments or their use of concepts but by looking at reality in the light of what it is saying….”Is reality illuminated forContinue reading “Philosophy As ‘Ways Of Seeing Things’”

Virginia Woolf On Autobiography And Not Writing ‘Directly About The Soul’

In Inspiration and Obsession in Life and Literature, (New York Review of Books, 13 August, 2015), Joyce Carol Oates writes: [Virginia] Woolf suggests the power of a different sort of inspiration, the sheerly autobiographical—the work created out of intimacy with one’s own life and experience….What is required, beyond memory, is a perspective on one’s ownContinue reading “Virginia Woolf On Autobiography And Not Writing ‘Directly About The Soul’”

The Dependence Of Autobiography On Biography (And Vice-Versa)

A few weeks ago, I briefly spoke at a conference hosted in honor of my dissertation advisor’s eightieth birthday. In my talk I offered some personal recollections of having worked with Distinguished Professor Rohit Parikh, his intellectual influence on me, and the various lessons–personal, technical, moral–that I learned along the way from him. As IContinue reading “The Dependence Of Autobiography On Biography (And Vice-Versa)”

John David Mabbott And Two Influential Paragraphs

In the summer of 1992, I had begun to consider the possibility of returning to graduate school–this time for a new program in study in an unfamiliar field: philosophy. I had no previous academic exposure to philosophy so I would have to begin at the ‘bottom’: by taking classes as a non-matriculate student, and thenContinue reading “John David Mabbott And Two Influential Paragraphs”

Richard Holmes On Biography’s ‘Physical Pursuit’ Of Its Subjects

In an essay describing his biographical work on Samuel Taylor Coleridge, Richard Holmes writes: [A] biography is…a handshake….across time, but also across cultures, across beliefs, across disciplines, across genders, and across ways of life. It is an act of friendship. It is a way of keeping the biographer’s notebook open, on both sides of thatContinue reading “Richard Holmes On Biography’s ‘Physical Pursuit’ Of Its Subjects”

Donald Trump And The Art Of The Presidential Deal

Shortly after I arrived in the US in 1987, I began working in my campus cafeteria (at the then minimum wage of $4.25 an hour.) One of my non-student companions at work was a young man who worked on the weekends as a replacement for the weekday staff. He was frivolous and funny and irreverent;Continue reading “Donald Trump And The Art Of The Presidential Deal”

Steven Salaita, Palestinians, And Autobiography

Last night, along with many Brooklyn College students, faculty (and some external visitors) I attended ‘Silencing Dissent: A Conversation with Steven Salaita, Katherine Franke and Corey Robin‘, organized by the Students for Justice in Palestine. (My previous posts on this event can be found here and here.) As Robin has noted over at his blog,Continue reading “Steven Salaita, Palestinians, And Autobiography”

The Difficulty of the Memoir

As my About page indicates, I am currently working on “a memoirish examination of the politics of cricket fandom” (contracted to Temple University Press, for the series Sporting, edited by Amy Bass).  Writing it has proven harder than I thought. I began writing the book late in 2001 and had a hundred-thousand word draft readyContinue reading “The Difficulty of the Memoir”

Laurence Olivier on the Indispensability of Personas

In his autobiography, Confessions of an Actor (Penguin, 1982), Laurence Olivier writes of an unforgettable mentor, and reveals a great deal about acting: [Miss Fogerty] gave me one unforgettable, very special word of advice, which has been imprinted forever in my memory. I can’t think of when, if ever, I had heard or known such aContinue reading “Laurence Olivier on the Indispensability of Personas”