Rabindranath Tagore by Rabindranath Tagore
An Anthology

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Rabindranath Tagore is revered the world over for the healing power of his luminous words and calming wisdom. Unlike previous Tagore collections, which often focus only on a single genre, Dutta and Robinson's anthology offers the full range of Tagore's talent--a play, poems, songs, a novel, selections from his memoirs, travel writings and essays--all in one graceful volume .

About Rabindranath Tagore

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Rabindranath Tagore was born May 7, 1861 in Calcutta, India into a wealthy Brahmin family. Tagore received his education at home. He was taught in Bengali, with English lessons in the afternoon. Tagore spent a brief time at St. Xavier's Jesuit school, but found the conventional system of education uncongenial. In 1879, he enrolled at University College, at London, but was called back by his father to return to India in 1880. During the first 51 years of his life, he achieved some success in the Calcutta area of India where he was born and raised with his many stories, songs and plays. His short stories were published monthly in a friend's magazine and he even played the lead role in a few of the public performances of his plays. Otherwise, he was little known outside of the Calcutta area, and not known at all outside of India. This all changed in 1912 when Tagore returned to England for the first time since his failed attempt at law school as a teenager. Now a man of 51, his was accompanied by his son. On the way over to England he began translating, for the first time, his latest selections of poems, Gitanjali, into English. Almost all of his work prior to that time had been written in his native tongue of Bengali. Tagore's one friend in England, a famous artist he had met in India, Rothenstein, learned of the translation, and asked to see it. Reluctantly, Tagore let him have the notebook. The poems were incredible. He called his friend, W.B. Yeats, and talked Yeats into looking at the hand scrawled notebook. Yeats was enthralled. He later wrote the introduction to Gitanjali when it was published in September 1912 in a limited edition by the India Society in London. Thereafter, both the poetry and the man were an instant sensation, first in London literary circles, and soon thereafter in the entire world. Less than a year later, in 1913, Rabindranath received the Nobel Prize for literature. He was the first non-westerner to be so honored. Overnight he became famous and began world lecture tours promoting inter-cultural harmony and understanding. In 1915 he was knighted by the British King George V. In 1919, following the Amritsar massacre of 400 Indian demonstrators by British troops, Sir Tagore renounced his Knighthood. He used the funds from his writing and lecturing to expand upon the school he had founded in 1901 now known as Visva Bharati . Tagore's multi-cultural educational efforts were an inspiration to many, including his friend, Count Hermann Keyserling of Estonia. Count Keyserling founded his own school in 1920, patterned upon Tagore's school, under the name School of Wisdom. Rabindranath Tagore led the opening program of the School of Wisdom in 1920, and participated in several of its programs thereafter. As a writer, Tagore 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. Aside from words and drama, his other great love was music. He composed more than two thousand songs, both the music and lyrics. Two of them became the national anthems of India and Bangladesh. In 1929 he even began painting. Only hours before he died on August 7, in 1941, Tagore dictated his last poem. Krishna Dutta, who was born in Calcutta, has lived for many years in London, where she works as a teacher. Andrew Robinson is the literary editor of "The Times Higher Education Supplement. "He is the author of "Satyajit Ray: The Inner Eye "and "The Art of Rabindranath Tagore." Together they have written "Rabindranath Tagore: the Myriad-Minded Man "(St. Martins' Press, 1996) and are the editors of "Selected Letters of Rabindranath Tagore "(1997). They have also co-translated Tagore's "The Post Office "(St. Martin's Press, 1996). Andrew Robinson is the author of acclaimed works on Rabindranath Tagore, and the editor of three screenplays by Satyajit Ray. He is literary editor of "The Times Higher Education Supplement."
Published November 1, 1997 by St Martins Pr. 416 pages
Genres: Literature & Fiction. Fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for Rabindranath Tagore

Publishers Weekly

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The remarkably versatile Bengali Rabindranath Tagore wrote poetry, short stories, novels, memoirs, essays and plays; he traveled extensively, painted, counseled politicians, lectured Einstein on the n

Nov 03 1997 | Read Full Review of Rabindranath Tagore: An Antho...

Publishers Weekly

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A boy writes his name and village on paper boats and floats them down a stream, in the hope that ``someone in some strange land will find them and know who I am.'' Written around the turn of the century by Nobel Prize-winner Tagore, the unassuming poem has an air of serenity aptly matched by the ...

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Publishers Weekly

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Unfortunately, the bulk of this anthology is given over haphazardly to Tagore's letters, essays and occasional pieces, which are wide-ranging but often unworthy of his other writings: as the introduction admits, ""Tagore was not an analytical thinker, always an intuitive one."" That intuitive abi...

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Spirituality & Practice

Each book contains a brief introduction to the poet's time and place, a summary of the major themes of the poet's mysticism and religious tradition, essential selections from the poet's most important works, and an appreciative essay by a contemporary spiritual writer.

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Spirituality & Practice

Dutta and Robinson describe Tagore's Indian nationalism, his lifelong disagreements with Mahatma Gandhi, and his vision of East and West meeting in cooperation and mutual enlightenment.

Feb 16 2013 | Read Full Review of Rabindranath Tagore: An Antho...


Amol’s character (played by Soumitra Chatterjee) is Tagore himself and Charulata (played by Madhabi Mukherjee) is his sister-in-law Kadambari Devi (the wife of Jyotirindranath Tagore).

Apr 13 2011 | Read Full Review of Rabindranath Tagore: An Antho...

Project MUSE

In many instances the reader is not given a reference as to where Tagore?s thought can be found on the issues that Gupta quotes from Western philosophical literature, making it difficult for the reader to distinguish Tagore?s thought from these other thinkers.

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It is Tagore the critical thinker that eventually wins over the overbearing persona of Tagore the poet, providing unprecedented access to his thought and works.

Sep 16 2012 | Read Full Review of Rabindranath Tagore: An Antho...

The Paris Review

I can’t raid my past for raw material because my past is so dull, so I have to make it all up.

Apr 30 2012 | Read Full Review of Rabindranath Tagore: An Antho...

Time Out Bangalore

“As the protagonists grow closer to each other…they also discover themselves – their strengths, their ambitions, their flaws and their follies,” says the blurb.

Mar 02 2012 | Read Full Review of Rabindranath Tagore: An Antho...

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