Friday, August 6, 2010

Tagore today

Rabindranath Tagore lived a long and extremely fruitful life. His literary output is simply colossal. What is more, it is of amazing variety and consistently of a high order. True, Tagore himself had his doubts about much of his writings, and he admitted perhaps it would have been better had he been a little less prolific. But at the same time he knew it was in his nature to be prolific, and he could not deny his nature.

Tagore appeared in the literary scene at an opportune moment a moment in the history of our literature when foundation of modernism, due primarily to Bengal's contact with the West, had been truly laid. This was true, both of poetry and prose.

The founding fathers included such stalwarts as Michael Madhusudan and Bankim Chandra. There were others, too. They all shared one thing among themselves: they had learnt their English well. This was undoubtedly the strong point about the Bengal Renaissance. Tagore was born at a time when Bengal Renaissance was in full bloom. Bengali creativity had found its hour of fruition.

The Tagore house at Jorasanko, Kolkata, was the nursery of many talents represented by the members of the Tagore family. The poet's own schooling was mainly done in his family place, only intermittently in schools. But he was a beneficiary of an elaborate private teaching system, made possible by the affluence of his family. He was also fortunate to receive early recognition of his talent by his family, especially by his father, Maharshi Debendranath.

Full report here Daily Star

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