About the BookThe 37 essays included in this volume are gleaned from the rich repertoire of Tagore's original English writings which, unfortunately, did not receive the attention they deserve, possibly because they were eclipsed by the huge body of his creative and critical writings in Bengali.
Yet a close look at his English writings reveals his wide range of active interest in everything that mattered to a man as a social being. The essays show that Tagore was alert to every new movement in the contemporary cultural scenario and registered his reaction to it.
The essays, thus, constitute an important part of his total oeuvre and surprise us by their contemporary relevance and the prophetic vision of a great humanist.
The luminous critical notes to the essays provided at the end by Professor Mohit K. Ray are sure to enhance the understanding and enjoyment of the essays, give an idea of Tagore's critical credo and place it in a global perspective.
The book will be useful to every lover of Tagore in general and Tagore scholars in particular. About the Author/sRabindranath Tagore (1861-1841) who received the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1913 and composed the national song of India, and is hailed as a World Poet, needs no introduction. The epithet, “myriad-minded” which Coleridge used for Shakespeare is more eminently applicable to Tagore. Although he is best known as a poet, he has left his mark in all the branches of literature. He was a poet, a novelist, a short story writer, an essayist, and a dramatist who wrote all kinds of dramas including dance dramas musical drama. Yet he was not just a cloistered literary artist. The myriad minded as he was, he was not only a man of contemplation, but also of action. He was also a distinguished educationist and a social thinker. His antennae were always out to register every movement that took place in the literary, cultural and political arena and he sharply reacted to it and left an indelible stamp of his genius on it.
It is amazing to see how the ideas that are scattered over the entire gamut of his writings and his utterances and actions on different occasions are so relevant and meaningful even today.
Dr Mohit K. Ray, Former Professor of English, Burdwan University (India), is a distinguished academician of international standing. He is widely published in India and abroad, and has attended and chaired sessions in many international conferences.
He has edited several critical anthologies including two volumes on Tagore. He received the C.V. Kapoor Education Foundation Distinguished Teacher Award in 2000. The festschrift, Widening Horizons: Essays in Honour of Professor Mohit K. Ray (2005) was released by Jayanta Mahapatra. Professor Ray was awarded the title Vachaspati and the degree of D.Litt. (honoris causa) by Rashtriya Sanskrit University, Tirupati, in 2010.