Rabindranath Tagore: Three Plays

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OUP Oxford, Sep 27, 2001 - Drama - 400 pages
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Tagore's phenomenal dramatic career encompasses over sixty plays in nearly as many years and occupies a prime position in Bengali and modern Indian theatre. He is hailed as the Ibsen of the East. His farsighted contribution to the Bengali dramatic movement can be envisaged from these fluent translations of three of Tagore's major plays: Red Oleanders, Tapati and Formless Jewel. All the three plays are concerned with unversal human quests - Red Oleander (Rakta-Karavi) with action and injustice, Tapati with detachment and renunciation, and Formless Jewel (Arup Ratan) with the discovery of God. While Red Oleander forms almost an apogee of Tagore's dramatic work - recent critics of the play have focused mainly on its socialistic import - Tapati, even Tagore considered as 'beautiful in all aspects', a symbolic play that acts out the theme that love should free not possess. Spiritual beauty and depth of vision mark Formless Jewel. A slightly shortened version of a book that was first published in 1987 by the MP Birla Foundation, the book contains a detailed general introduction to Tagore as playwright, and covers the reception of the plays, their previous translations and a note on the present translation. An extensive bibliography and glossary makes it an invaluable guide for all those who are interested in Tagore's works.

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About the author (2001)

Bengali Indian writer Rabrindranath Tagore translated into English his own verse Gitanjali/Song Offerings (1912) and his verse play Chitra (1896). He was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1913. An ardent nationalist and advocate of social reform, he resigned his knighthood as a gesture of protest against British repression in India. Dr Ananda Lal is Reader in English Literature at Jadavpur University, Calcutta. He is the editor of the forthcoming title, Oxford Illustrated Companion to Indian Theatre

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