Rabindranath Tagore: The Myriad-Minded Man

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Overview

Rabindranath Tagore (1861-1941)—poet, philosopher, painter, novelist, playwright, composer, traveller, political commentator and Asia’s first Nobel Laureate—was one of his era’s cultural icons. Proclaimed as the greatest poet India has ever produced, Tagore left an astonishing legacy undimmed nearly 70 years after his death. But he was also an enigmatic, complex and contradictory figure, torn between India’s spiritual values and the spirit of the West. In this definitive biography, Krishna Dutta and Andrew ...

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Overview

Rabindranath Tagore (1861-1941)—poet, philosopher, painter, novelist, playwright, composer, traveller, political commentator and Asia’s first Nobel Laureate—was one of his era’s cultural icons. Proclaimed as the greatest poet India has ever produced, Tagore left an astonishing legacy undimmed nearly 70 years after his death. But he was also an enigmatic, complex and contradictory figure, torn between India’s spiritual values and the spirit of the West. In this definitive biography, Krishna Dutta and Andrew Robinson explore the man behind the myth, presenting the power of his person, the power of his name and the power of his work. The result is an enlightening and exquisitely rendered portrayal—not of the legend but, to quote Tagore, of "the figure that once moved."

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
Praise for the hardcover:

"One has waited a very long time for a biography of Tagore that did justice to a far more complex and curious mind and life than simply respectful and circumspect accounts allowed. Here it is: thorough, fair, balanced, intelligent, and addressing every aspect of a truly astonishing artist, his life and times." Anita Desai

"This seems to exemplify a sort of biography little dared anymore; an enquiry into the spirit and mind of a man whom the authors trust and admire and do not presume to overinterpret." Independent on Sunday

"Enjoyable, astute and highly readable." Amit Chaudhuri, Spectator

"Judicious, sympathetic and exceedingly well documented." The Times

"A painstaking, informative, well-written biography." Daily Telegraph

"Excellent… admirably straightforward, readable, lively, informative." Financial Times

"Dutta and Robinson’s lively narrative steers clear of facile categories...so revealing the subtle nuances of East and West in the poet’s sensibility." Guardian

"The entire book was a revelation to me… it brings out very clearly that Tagore was intellectually more perceptive than Gandhi." Subrahmanyan Chandrasekhar, Nobel Laureate

"A fascinating book about a fascinating man, a work that addresses the profound conflict between eastern spirituality and western rationality." Ilya Prigogine, Nobel Laureate

"An excellent book… as an elegantly argued and subtly shaded portrait it will be difficult to supersede." Literary Review

‘This book offers a very detailed and perceptive portrayal of a man and his times and, since it is co-written by an Englishman and an Indian, it provides an understanding and appreciation from both perspectives.’ - John Green, MORNING STAR, 9 March 2009

‘An ambitious and altogether brilliant biography… exceptionally fair-minded.’ — Sunday (Calcutta)

‘Krishna Dutta and Andrew Robinson have established themselves as the pre-eminent Tagore scholars.’ — K. Natwar Singh, Asian Age

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781845118044
  • Publisher: I. B.Tauris & Company, Limited
  • Publication date: 3/17/2009
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 520
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.10 (h) x 1.70 (d)

Meet the Author

Krishna Dutta is an author and translator specializing in the cultural history of Bengal. Her book, Calcutta: A Cultural and Literary History, was published to critical acclaim and she is currently writing about the history of the first book of Indian cookery to be published in Britain. Andrew Robinson is the author of more than fifteen books, including The Art of Rabindranath Tagore and two books published by I.B.Tauris: Satyajit Ray: The Inner Eye and Satyajit Ray: A Vision of Cinema (with Nemai Ghosh). He has written biographies of Albert Einstein, Michael Ventris and Thomas Young. He is the former literary editor of The Times Higher Education Supplement, is now a visiting fellow of Wolfson College, Cambridge and a fulltime writer.

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Table of Contents

List of illustrations

• Acknowledgements

• Note on the spelling and punctuation of Bengali

• Introduction

• The Tagores and ‘Prince’ Dwarkanath

• Maharshi Debendranath

• The House of the Tagores

• Rabi

• A Journey to the Himalayas

• Adolescence

• England

• Renaissance in Bengal

• Marriage and Bereavement

• Peripatetic Litterateur

• Manashi, The Lady of the Mind

• The Shelidah Years

• Family Life

• Small Beginnings in Shantiniketan

• The Swadeshi Movement

• The Voice of Bengal

• England and the USA

• The Nobel Prize

• Never at Rest

• Japan and the USA

• Anti-Imperialist

• The Founding of a University

• Anti-Non-cooperator

• China and Japan

• Argentina

• Arguing with Gandhi

• Italy, Mussolini and After

• Nationalism versus Internationalism

• Farewell to the West

• Against the Raj

• The Great Sentinel

• Last Travels

• Shantiniketan in the Thirties

• the Self-destruction of Bengal

• War, Tagore and the West

• The Myriad-Minded Man

• Postscript

• Tagore Family Tree

• Tagore’s Travels

• Notes

• Bibliography

• Index

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