Arun Mitra 1909-2010

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In his article ~Mystery of the haunted house' (Hanabarir rahasya), published in an anthology 'Why do I write' (Keno likhi), edited by Subhash Mukhopadhyay and Pranab Biswas (January 2000: Mitra O Ghosh) Arun Mitra pointed out that there should be a clear line of demarcation between creative literature and literray criticism. For him, critical literature can never be considered as creative, nor it should ever have any impact on the mutual bond between the reader and the writer of creativer literature. Criticism should be enjoyed as a separate genre. How much misunderstood has Arun Mitra's poetry been! How a totally wrong suggestion about Arun Mitra's poetry has incited seminarists and essayists! How the neo-conservatism of modernists and post-modernists has always been taking Arun Mitra's Eurocentrism for granted! Contemporary of Buddhadeva Bose (1908-1974) and Bishnu De (1909-1982), Arun Mitra was aware of the 'modern' European trends. He opbtained his PhD in French language and literature, and was a teacher of French in Farnce and in Allahabad University. But that does not necessarily mena he was all out for echoing European modernism. Critics misguide readers because Arun Mitra abandoned 'Padyachhanda' or the regular Bengali meter. His favourite merical system was 'Muktak' or free verse. The wonderful presence of the 'self' in almost every poem of Arun Mitra is also to be noted. He is always a lyricist. Arun Mitra was born in Jessore, a district of undivided Bengal. After a short stint in journalism, he received a scholarship from the French government and took his PhD from Sorbonne University. His first volume of poems, 'Prantarekha' was published in 1943. It was followed by Utser Dike (1954), Ghanistha Tap (1963), Mancher Baire Maite (1970), Sudhu Rater Sabdo noy (1978), Pratham Poli, Sesh Pathar (1981),
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