About the BookRed Oleanders/Raktakarab? is one of the best plays of Tagore, the myriadminded and multifaceted genius; understandably ‘meanings’ have been sought ‘under the petals’, in spite of the author’s admonition, by countless readers, theatre-goers, performers/producers, and literary critics.
Raktakarab? belongs to the symbolic phase (1922-1932) of Tagore’s experimentations with the dramatic form. The themes—materialism versus humanism, industry versus agriculture, possessive greed versus selfless love, etc.— are all superbly integrated into the symbolic structure of the play which, a powerful dramatic evocation of the evils of mindless industrialism, celebrates the perennial values of love, life and nature. In its symbolic suggestions and dramatic situations, luminous diction and lyrical resonance, the play is a literary tour de force and is comparable with any great play of the world.
Tagore had also claimed that this play was based on ‘truth’. Is this the truth of facts, actuality, realism, or the truth of authentic perception inferred from the essence of human predicament? It is perhaps for the reader/audience to decide.
Red Oleanders (1925), Tagore's own translation of his Bengali play Raktakarab? (published in 1924), has been brought for the scholars and lovers of Tagore all over the world on the auspicious occasion of the year-long celebrations of the 150th birth anniversary of the poet. (1861-1941). A brilliant and comprehensive critical introduction has been added, which touches on all the major aspects of the play—its genesis and themes, ideas and symbols, images and metaphors, historical, social and political contexts, characters and situations, songs and dances, the meaning and the music, and intertextual parallels, leaving virtually nothing en route. It will not only add to the understanding and enjoyment of the play, but also prove immensely useful to all Tagore scholars.About the Author/sMohit K. Ray, recently retired, is one of the seniormost Professors of English in the country. He has five books and a large number of research papers published in scholarly journals in India and abroad. Professor Ray has edited several anthologies of critical studies, including two volumes on Rabindranath Tagore and one on Translation Studies. He also edits The Atlantic Critical Review, an international quarterly of global circulation. He is at present working as the Chief Editor of Atlantic Publishers & Distributors Pvt. Ltd.
Rama Kundu, a full Professor of English, in Burdwan University, West Bengal, is the author of nine books. She edits The Atlantic Literary Review and has also edited several anthologies of research papers including one on Rabindranath Tagore’s The Home and the World. She has written a large number of research papers published in scholarly journals and anthologies in India and abroad.
Prof. Ray and Prof. Kundu have jointly translated Rabindranath Tagore’s Gor? (Atlantic Publishers and Distributors (P) Ltd.).