Pankaj Mishra’s Divided Self

Lola Seaton at The New Statesman:

One thing Pankaj Mishra seems certain of is that humans are uncertain creatures, but uncertain in a notably coherent way. “Human identity,” Mishra wrote in the prologue to Age of Anger (2017), is “manifold and self-conflicted”. He thus feels “unqualified regard for a figure like Montaigne”, for he recognised “the acute self-divisions of individual selves”. Mishra is hardly alone in emphasising human ambivalence, but his is a rather spruce, even schematic vision of perplexity: we are less awash in inarticulate doubt or disarrayed by our unconscious than intelligibly sundered between our “inner and public selves”.

As a writer, Mishra’s public self has had the upper hand for most of his career.

more here.