Sudhir Kakar’s “first-of-its-kind psychobiography”, as the blurb puts it, intends to deepen “our understanding of Rabindranath Tagore”. It is, the author clarifies, an “inner biography” and “not to be confused with ‘psychoanalysis of Tagore’”. Since the clinical situation usually involves a direct exchange of words between the analyst and the analysand, it is impossible to use such a methodology to describe the interior life of a subject who is dead. But the challenge, in Kakar’s case, is also greatly enhanced by his limited access to Tagore’s writing, and the rich literature on it, in Bengali. The result, unsurprisingly, is not salutary.