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Rabindranath Tagore: An Anthology Paperback – December 15, 1998
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“The entire breadth of [Tagore's] richly hued oeuvre is showcased in all its emotional resonance and artistic greatness. Reading Tagore is not only illuminating but deeply moving.” ―Donna Seaman
“In common with thousands of his countrymen I owe much to one who by his poetic genius and singular purity of life has raised India in the estimation of the world.” ―Mahatma Gandhi
“The entire Indian civilization spoke through poetic wisdom of Rabindranath Tagore.” ―Deepak Chopra
“[Tagore's] lyrics...display in their thought a world I have dreamed of all my life long.” ―W.B. Yeats
“Tagore, who was a great master of words, seems to me have spoken about language, and its connection with social and political life, with accurate insight, and what he said has great interest for us today.” ―Isaiah Berlin
From the Publisher
"In common with thousands of his countrymen I owe much to one by his poetic genius and singular purity of life has raised India in the estimation of the world." --Mahatma Gandhi
"The entire Indian civilization spoke through the poetic wisdom of Rabindranath Tagore." --Deepak Chopra
"[Tagore's] lyrics...display in their thought a world I have dreamed of all my life long." --W.B. Yeats
"Tagore, who was a great master of words, seems to me to have spoken about language, and its connection with social and political life, with acute insight, and what he said has great interest for us today." --Isaiah Berlin
Top Customer Reviews
An excerpt - "In certain years in Calcutta, birds strange to the city used to come and build in our banyan tree. They would be off again almost before I had learnt to recognize the dance of their wings, but they brought with them a strange lovely music from their distant jungle homes.Read more ›
Krishna Dutta and Andrew Robinson so wisely selected his play, "The Post Office" as the first chapter. This play is like a pearl found in an oyster shell ... the outside appearance gives no impression of the valuable gem to be found within. The message is breath-taking in its simplicity and sublime due to its universal message which transcends culture and time. The beauty of this Anthology is the wide range and depth of Tagore's writing to which the reader is exposed. His writing is awesome and inspiring, filled with love for mankind, by one who sees the complete picture, but nonetheless is filled with hope. We read Rabindranath Tagore's memoirs in "My Remininscences" - we learn about his relationship with his father, a journey into the Himalayas, and his boyhood days. Tagore's travel writings about Russia, Japan, England, Java, Persia, and a day at the spa in Balatonfured, Hungary are fascinating to read. We have the privilege of reading Tagore's personal letters to his neice, the poet Yeats, the poet Ezra Pound, many of his friends, the philosopher, Bertrand Russell, and many other people with whom he corresponded.Read more ›
It a testimony to the sheer strength of Tagore as a writer that the reader is able to have those moments while reading this anthology. It unfortunately suffered from many of the typical problems of this kind of collection. The selections often felt too shallow and abbreviated. The quality of the translations varied wildly from chapter to chapter.
As a reader, I would have appreciated it if Dutta and Robinson had refrained from excerpting the longer prose works and instead had concentrated on deepening the selection of letters, short stories and essays. Reading an excerpt of a longer work is bound to be a frustrating exercise, and the space was used at the expense of material more natural for this kind of collection.
I picked this up to give me an overview of Tagore as a writer. It served that purpose admirably. Recommended for someone with the same task in mind.
Tagore's five short stories in this anthology are folkloric, sometimes sad or humorous, somewhat other worldly, and always entertaining. They expose the hues of Bengal better than paintings with their brilliant characterizations and finite details of place and time. Here's a sampling from The Raj Seal: "An old story came to his mind. An ass was pulling a temple car along the sacred way, and the passers-by, prostrating themselves in the dust before it were offering their pranams. 'They are all worshipping me,' the foolish ass thought. 'There's only one small difference between that ass and me,' the elder brother told himself. 'I have at last realized that it is not my person the British sahibs respect, but the jacket weighing on my shoulders.'"
Tagore's play The Post Office is included in its entirety. It's very childlike and simplistic in structure, yet it is poignantly profound with its message that death is serene; "...that great ocean of truth to which all life returns".
The Nobel Prize for literature was awarded to him in 1913. Part of the tribute was for Tagore's poetry, particularly Gitanjali; however, there is too small of a sample (four stanzas) to truly appreciate it. My favorite from the anthology was Flute Music, an autobiographical poem.
Tagore the philosopher is evident in his essays and letters. In his letters he takes on the persona to whom the letter is addressed. The debate with Einstein "On the Nature of Reality" leaves the reader uncertain as to who was more convincing.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Blinded by the glitz and glitter of western way of life, for so many of us trying to imitate western life as pinnacle of success, completely missed the underline good that it holds... Read morePublished on July 19, 2014 by Sen, T.
Tagore (1861-1941) was an outstanding literary figure from India. He came from a wealthy Bengali (east India) family and was
awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1913. Read more
Tagore is widely admired by the Indian people (those who are literate). He detested the cast system, and wrote about freedom, not only in thought but the freedom to be who you want... Read morePublished on May 21, 2009 by Casan