The self and the nation constitute the two poles of the dialectics this chapter intends to explore through two distinctive autobiographers, Benjamin Franklin and Maxine Hong Kingston. Drawing from Homi Bhabha’s The Location of Culture and Mikhail Bakhtin’s Rabelais and His World, the chapter presents the correlation between the discursive borders of the self and the nation. The image of the closed nation can be compared to the concept of the classical body as expressed by Bakhtin. Conversely, the unfinished nation is akin to the grotesque vision of the body. The former is at the core of the persona Franklin creates for himself in his autobiography; the latter predominates in Kingston’s image of a self in constant transit with the outside world. This chapter intends to demonstrate how two very different autobiographers, Benjamin Franklin and Maxine Hong Kingston, inscribe themselves into the narration of the nation. Whereas Franklin replicates the isomorphism of people, territory, legitimate authority and narration, Kingston presents the reader with a narrative that maps out a different cartography that goes beyond the self and the nation.