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Oxford India Anthology of Bengali Literature Volume II: 1941 1991

Price : $37.00
ISBN # : 9780198064619
Author : Kalpana Bardhan
pages: 473
Edition : Hardcover
Volumes : 1
Publisher : Oxford University Press
Published : 2010

Rabindranath Tagore s 1913 Nobel Prize in Literature helped renew interest in modern Indian literature and, in particular, Bengali literature. However, by the mid-nineteenth century Bengali literature had already come into its own, distinguishing itself in the genres of poetry, short story, novel, and essays of intellection and reminiscence. It grew diversely and through many channels in the twentieth century, a period of social change and upheaval. The Oxford India Anthology of Bengali Literature celebrates the richness and diversity of the literature spread across 130 years. The two-volume anthology represents around 100 writers and includes nearly 250 selections from poetry, short fiction, and non-fiction. The chronological dividing line of 1941 between the two volumes represents not just the end of an era with Tagore s death, but the beginning of a new period marked by traumatic changes in both Bengals, amply reflected in the literature. This volume begins with Jibanananda Das s poetry and moves on to Amiya Chakravarty, Sudhindranath Datta, Bishnu Dey, Buddhadeva Bose, Shamsur Rahman, Sankha Ghosh, among others, ending with Joy Goswami and Mandakranta Sen. The short fiction and non-fiction sections are similarly characterized by chronological and diverse selections, many of them translated especially for this volume. Of extraordinary literary merit and variety, the close to 150 selections stand out as an important social register, offering glimpses of changing times, social ethos, and varying writing styles, concerns, and viewpoints. Carefully selected and introduced, the chronological listing of works by authors helps readers get a sense of evolution of various literary genres and sub-genres across almost one and a half centuries of literary creation. Placing the writings in their historical context, the Introduction affords a broad conceptual understanding of the socio-political and cultural mores of the times. Readership It will appeal to anybody who enjoys good writing as well as students and scholars of comparative literature, translation studies, and Indian literature in translation, especially Bengali literature. Review Comments This is by far the most serious and comprehensive introduction to Bengali literature attempted till now. One can argue with the editor about what she has included or excluded, but then, ultimately, every editor must leave his or her stamp on a volume of this kind. ... This is a marvellous compilation and obviously a labour of love. Ashis Nandy, ICSSR National Fellow, Centre for the Study of Developing Societies, New Delhi This is a remarkable collection in translation from the highlights of Bengali literature. For somebody reared in the Bengali literature, like me, this is a nostalgic trip through exciting but familiar territory. The collection will serve a different purpose for those unfamiliar with the literature presented here, but I am sure they will share the excitement of encountering a very rich collection of contributions in an accessible and remarkably well presented form. Amartya Sen, Nobel Laureate, and Thomas W. Lamont University Professor and Professor of Economics and Philosophy, Harvard University An excellent anthology of the entire range of modern Bengali literary production ... The first of its kind, Bardhan s anthology has achieved a rare combination of the concise and the comprehensive. ... This will fill an important gap in the study of Bengali literature, placing in the hands of those who are curious about this rich literary tradition but cannot read the language, a selection of great skill and discernment. Sudipta Kaviraj, Professor, South Asian Politics, Columbia University Author Bio: Kalpana Bardhan has been involved in translating Bengali literature for the last two decades. One of her books received the prestigious Sahitya Akademi Award for best English translation in 1998.

This book was added to South Asia bookstore on Wednesday 04 August, 2010.

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