The Essential Tagore

Front Cover
Harvard University Press, Apr 15, 2011 - Art - 819 pages
0 Reviews

The Essential Tagore showcases the genius of India's Rabindranath Tagore, the first Asian Nobel Laureate and possibly the most prolific and diverse serious writer the world has ever known.

Marking the 150th anniversary of Tagore's birth, this ambitious collection—the largest single volume of his work available in English—attempts to represent his extraordinary achievements in ten genres: poetry, songs, autobiographical works, letters, travel writings, prose, novels, short stories, humorous pieces, and plays. In addition to the newest translations in the modern idiom, it includes a sampling of works originally composed in English, his translations of his own works, three poems omitted from the published version of the English Gitanjali, and examples of his artwork.

Tagore's writings are notable for their variety and innovation. His Sonar Tari signaled a distinctive turn toward the symbolic in Bengali poetry. “The Lord of Life,” from his collection Chitra, created controversy around his very personal concept of religion. Chokher Bali marked a decisive moment in the history of the Bengali novel because of the way it delved into the minds of men and women. The skits in Vyangakautuk mocked upper-class pretensions. Prose pieces such as “The Problem and the Cure” were lauded by nationalists, who also sang Tagore's patriotic songs.

Translations for this volume were contributed by Tagore specialists and writers of international stature, including Amitav Ghosh, Amit Chaudhuri, and Sunetra Gupta.

 

What people are saying - Write a review

We haven't found any reviews in the usual places.

Contents

List of Illustrations
Poetry as Polemic
Introduction
1 Autobiography
2 Letters
3 Prose
4 Poems
5 Songs
8 Novels
10 Travel Writing
Chronology
Notes
Glossary
Further Reading
Acknowledgments
Contributors

6 Plays
7 Stories

Other editions - View all

Common terms and phrases

About the author (2011)

Rabindranath Tagore was born on May 7, 1861 in Calcutta, India. He attended University College, at London for one year before being called back to India by his father in 1880. During the first 51 years of his life, he achieved some success in the Calcutta area of India with his many stories, songs, and plays. His short stories were published monthly in a friend's magazine and he played the lead role in a few of the public performances of his plays. While returning to England in 1912, he began translating his latest selections of poems, Gitanjali, into English. It was published in September 1912 in a limited edition by the India Society in London. In 1913, he received the Nobel Prize for literature. He was the first non-westerner to receive the honor. In 1915, he was knighted by King George V, but Tagore renounced his knighthood in 1919 following the Amritsar massacre of 400 Indian demonstrators by British troops. He primarily worked in Bengali, but after his success with Gitanjali, he translated many of his other works into English. He wrote over one thousand poems; eight volumes of short stories; almost two dozen plays and play-lets; eight novels; and many books and essays on philosophy, religion, education and social topics. He also composed more than two thousand songs, both the music and lyrics. Two of them became the national anthems of India and Bangladesh. He died on August 7, 1941 at the age of 80.

Fakrul Alam is Professor of English at the University of Dhaka.

Radha Chakravarty is Associate Professor of English at Gargi College, University of Delhi.

Bibliographic information