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Rabindranath Tagore Biography

(1861–1941), The Home and the World, Geetanjali, The Gardener, Lover's Gift, and Crossing

thompson bengali prose translations

Bengali poet, novelist, and playwright, born in Calcutta, educated privately and at University College, London, from 1878 to 1880. In India, Tagore is highly regarded as one of the great figures of modern literature for his innovations in poetry, prose fiction, and drama in his own language, Bengali. The current reassessment of his work depends entirely on recent translations of his work and the republishing of translations of the ingeniously constructed novel The Home and the World (tr. 1919), upon which Satyajit Ray based a successful film. However, he first achieved international renown as a sort of mystic and sage, praised by literary dignitaries like Yeats and Pound, when he produced his own English renditions—now considered woefully inferior to the Bengali originals—of such works as Geetanjali (1912), presented as a series of prose poems, which earned him the Nobel Prize in 1913, The Gardener (1913), and Lover's Gift, and Crossing (1918). However, his English works are out of print and he is best appreciated in translation. A notable novel is Gora (tr. 1924). Rabindranath Tagore, Poet and Dramatist (1926) is a critical biography by Edward Thompson who translated his works. See also Alien Homage: Edward Thompson and Rabindranath Tagore (1993) by E. P. Thompson.

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