Author: Sisirkumar Ghose
Translator(s)/ Editors(s): A. A. Manavalan
Publisher: Sahitya Akademi
ISBN/UPC (if available): 812600892X
This book is a Tamil translation of English original by Sisirkumar Ghose.
This short survey tries to see Rabindranath as he is rather as it appears to us now. There are many Rabindranaths, nana Rabindranath, as he himself said. We shall get the Tagore we deserve.
A renaissance figure, breathtaking in vigor, volume and variety, Tagore put us on the literary map of the world. Essentially a poet, he was many other things besides because of being a poet: dramatist, writer of short stories, novelist, a social , political , religious, aesthetic thinker, innovator in education, rural reconstructions, a champion of the one World idea.
The author of two national anthems has touched life and the life of the people at more points than perhaps anyone else. His untranslatable songs are and will be, a part of the Bengali landscape, of both Bengals. More than a literary lion, he was a culture hero.
His life, full of tensions and surprises, creative to the end, is a challenge. As the later poems and paintings show, the poet of Gitanjali was more than the poet of Gitanjali. The last of the liberals and romantics, he had been tested, both as man and artist, by the fire. But even when disillusioned, as in his last birthday address, he refused to lose faith in Man.
A purely literary summing up will not do. To be hypnotized is not enough. We must also understand, if not assimilate the complex heritage. In spite of the inevitable reaction, he pervades, and dominates, the scene. What was he really like? Only a balanced, mature view can tell us that.
The time for revaluation has probably come.