Selected Letters of Rabindranath Tagore

Front Cover
Cambridge University Press, Jun 26, 1997 - Biography & Autobiography - 561 pages
2 Reviews
Interest in the life and work of Nobel prize-winning writer Rabindranath Tagore is now enjoying a revival after many years of neglect outside India. He wrote thousands of letters in both Bengali and English. Most of the significant Bengali letters have been published in the half-century since his death, but not translated, while few noteworthy English letters are in print. This book, which consists of about 350 letters spanning Tagore's entire life, a quarter of them in English translation, is the first to make his letters available to English readers. They have been especially selected to show as many facets of his experience, interests and ideas as possible. Students of history, politics and literature will find them an invaluable tool, not only for an understanding of the complexity of Tagore's personality, but also of the times in which he lived.
 

What people are saying - Write a review

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

Contents

Ezra Pound 5558
1
Mira Gangulee Tagore 32414866 150 154240258
65
Nitindranath Gangulee 253
93
Ernest Rhys 88 293 320
116
in alphabetical order with letter numbers
120
John Anderson 309
128
Arthur Geddes 208
138
Remain Rolland 146 195203209
146
Bidhan Chandra Roy 251
223
John Graham Drummond 147
229
Bertrand Russell 50
280
Frederik van Eeden 67
289
Ellery Sedgwick 244
300
Gretchen Green
306
Abanindranath Tagore 109
324
Mrs George Engel 276
438

Moti Lal Ghosh 112
155
Annie Besant 133
174
S R Bomanji 238
182
Gopal Krishna Gokhale 75
190
Lord Ronaldshay 117 118
192
Pramathanath Chaudhuri 89
202
Franklin Delano Roosevelt 341
207
Kamla Chowdhury 346
209
Ramakrishna Dalmia 329
219
Malcolm Hailey 279
442
Daniel Hamilton 239
448
Gaganendranath Tagore 25 108
457
Hermann Keyserling 170
459
Vincenc Lesny 324
501
Tagore and Einstein
527
Bibliography
541
Indira Tagore 5 723 65
551
Copyright

Common terms and phrases

About the author (1997)

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.

Bibliographic information