Rabindranath Tagore: Facets of a Cultural Icon (UTQ Volume 77, Number 4, 2008 )

Rabindranath Tagore: Facets of a Cultural Icon (UTQ Volume 77, Number 4, 2008 )

ISSN: 0042–0247
E-ISSN: 1712-5278
This Journal is online at: UTQ Online and Project MUSE
Email List: Join the UTQ email list!
Price: $25.00
Description
Theme Issues

Rabindranath Tagore: Facets of a Cultural Icon (UTQ Volume 77, Number 4, 2008 )

Guest edited by Kathleen M. O’Connell and Joseph T. O’Connell

Rabindranath Tagore, the first Asian Nobel Laureate (in 1913 for literature) can well be deemed a ‘cultural icon’ in the sense that he embodied and articulated an integrated conception of human culture through his charismatic personality and manifold creative works. Tagore’s vision of human life is one that stems from the cultural soil of his native Bengal but opens onto and embraces humanity as a whole, each portion of which remains rooted in its own native cultural soil. Those who find converging in Rabindranath Tagore and his work a dynamic view of how human life actually is and of how it might be yet more authentically human have reason to hope that he and his work may become more widely known and more accurately appreciated worldwide.

To that end, this issue of University of Toronto Quarterly 77.4 Fall 2008, edited by Kathleen and Joseph O'Connell, presents eleven essays by authorities on several aspects of Rabindranath Tagore's immense oeuvre and impact. The contributors provide guidance to those would discover and reclaim Tagore, creative and humane cultural icon that he was and remains, in as authentic and faithful a way as possible, neither confining him in a stultifying orthodoxy of interpretation that he would abhor nor allowing substandard or tendentious misrepresentations of him and his work to go unchallenged.

Each author draws upon his or her particular expertise to refract and illuminate significant sectors of Tagore’s remarkably complex and productive life and work. Krishna Dutta taps into his letters as a ‘beacon’ to biographers like herself. Kathleen O’Connell and Uma Das Gupta present Tagore, respectively, as innovative educator and pioneer in rural development. Ana Jelnikar explores the personal, cultural and political factors behind W.B. Yeats’s (mis)reading of Tagore, while Giuseppe Flora mines Italian sources to explain the poet’s tortuous relationship with Italy as it struggled between fascism and liberalism in the 1920s. Anisuzzaman reports on the sometimes acrimonious ‘claiming’ versus ‘disclaiming’ of Tagore in former East Pakistan and current Bangladesh. Saranindranath Tagore (grandnephew of the poet) gives a philosophical exposition and defence of the poet-philosopher’s conception of cosmopolitanism. Mandakranta Bose reflects on the distinctive quality and problematic fate of Rabindra-nritya, a unique style of modern dance introduced by Tagore. William Radice argues for a new and more insightful way of classifying Rabindra-sangit, the body of Bangla-language songs that Tagore considered the most valuable and enduring of his manifold cultural legacy. Suddhaseel Sen complements Radice’s essay with a detailed analysis of Europeancomposers’ efforts to set to Western music poems of Tagore (in translations). Mahmud Shah Qureshi concludes the issue with an extensive review of literary and assessments of Rabindranath Tagore by Bengali Muslim writers—men and women who shared the language in which the poet was most talented and prolific, Bangla (Bengali), but were of a different religio-communal background.

Recommend this journal

: *
: *
: *
Type the characters you see in the picture. (If you do not see any picture here, please enable images in your web browser options and refresh this page):