Rabindranath Tagore: The Myriad-Minded Man

Krishna Dutta, Author, Andrew Robinson, With St. Martin's Press $35 (0p) ISBN 978-0-312-14030-4
This moving, essential biography of one of the century's great artists profiles an individualist who brought East and West into receptive emotional and intellectual contact. Bengali poet, novelist, essayist and playwright Rabindranath Tagore (1861-1941), who won the Nobel Prize for literature in 1913, believed India was uniquely capable of synthesizing Eastern spirituality with Western practicality. Tagore helped to lead India's first modern patriotic movement, in 1905-1907, and the institute for rural reconstruction, which he founded in 1921, anticipated Gandhi's efforts. Demythologizing yet sympathetic, this biography explores Tagore's many contradictions. Internationalist yet elitist, he was an aristocrat by training and temperament and clashed frequently with Gandhi's nationalist movement. Although he condemned child marriage and supported women's rights in his writings, Tagore in his personal life craved women's unswerving devotion, and he married off his two older daughters at the ages of 10 and 14. The authors examine Tagore's protean creativity, including his songs, operas, dance-dramas and paintings; they also interweave wonderful new translations of numerous poems. Dutta is translator of Tagore's Selected Short Stories; Robinson is the author of The Art of Rabindranath Tagore. Photos. (Dec.)
Reviewed on: 12/04/1995
Release date: 12/01/1995
Genre: Nonfiction
Hardcover - 608 pages - 978-0-7475-2004-7
Paperback - 493 pages - 978-1-84511-804-4
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