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On Tagore

Chaudhuri, Amit

On Tagore

Reading the Poet Today

Year of Publication: 2013

Oxford, Bern, Berlin, Bruxelles, Frankfurt am Main, New York, Wien, 2013. XII, 178 pp.
ISBN 978-3-0343-0918-9 pb.  (Softcover)

Weight: 0.220 kg, 0.485 lbs

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Book synopsis

Infosys Prize for outstanding contribution to the Humanities in Literary Studies

Rabindranath Tagore is widely regarded as a romantic poet, speaking of beauty and truth; as a transcendentalist; a believer in the absolute; a propagandist for universal man; and as a national icon. But, as Amit Chaudhuri shows in these remarkable and widely admired essays about the poet and his milieu, his secret concern was really with life, play, and contingency, with the momentary as much as it was with the eternal. It is this strain of unacknowledged modernism, as well as a revolutionary life-affirming vision, that gives his work, Chaudhuri argues, its immense power.
Acute, challenging, and path-breaking, Amit Chaudhuri’s collection will become a classic reading of Rabindranath Tagore and the way he is perceived today.
On Tagore was awarded the Rabindra Puraskar, the West Bengal government’s highest literary honour, in 2012 in recognition of the ‘significance, in the English language, of its critical analysis of Tagore’s works’.


Contents: The Anniversary Begins – The Flute of Modernity – A Pact with Nature – Poetry as Polemic – ‘Nothing but a Poet’.

About the author(s)/editor(s)

Amit Chaudhuri is the author of five highly acclaimed novels, of which A Strange and Sublime Address, Afternoon Raag, Freedom Song, and A New World won, between them, the Commonwealth Writers Prize, the Betty Trask Prize, the Encore Prize, the Los Angeles Times Book Prize for Fiction, and the Government of India’s Sahitya Akademi Award; his latest novel is The Immortals. He is also a poet, an acclaimed musician, and a highly regarded critic, the author of D. H. Lawrence and ‘Difference’ and Clearing a Space. He has edited the Picador Book of Modern Indian Literature and is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature and Professor of Contemporary Literature at the University of East Anglia. Amit Chaudhuri lives in Calcutta and Norwich.


«Remarkably far-reaching [...] Imaginative and original.» (Amartya Sen)
«Few have written as well on Tagore’s aesthetic as Amit Chaudhuri [...] in ‘On Tagore’.» (Pankaj Mishra, in ‘From the Ruins of Empire’)
«A powerfully discerning and intelligent critic.» (Tom Paulin)
«Superbly original.» (Terry Eagleton, London Review of Books)

Video Link

Find here an interesting link under Indian TV.