Rabindranath Tagore

Topics: Rabindranath Tagore, Bengali literature, Tagore family Pages: 30 (9898 words) Published: July 6, 2011
Rabindranath Tagore (Bengali: রবীন্দ্রনাথ ঠাকুর , pronounced [roːbin̪d̪rɔnaːtʰə ʈhaːkurə]; Hindi: रबिन्द्रनाथ ठाकुरα[›]β[›]; 7 May 1861 – 7 August 1941),γ[›] sobriquet Gurudev,δ[›] was a Bengali poet, novelist, musician, painter and playwright who reshaped Bengali literature and music. As author of Gitanjali with its "profoundly sensitive, fresh and beautiful verse",[1] he was the first non-European and the only Indian to be awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1913.[2] His poetry in translation was viewed as spiritual, and this together with his mesmerizing persona gave him a prophet-like aura in the west. His "elegant prose and magical poetry" still remain largely unknown outside the confines of Bengal.[3] A Pirali Brahmin[4][5][6][7] from Kolkata, Tagore had been writing poetry since he was eight years old.[8] At age 16, he published his first substantial poetry under the pseudonym Bhanushingho ("Sun Lion")[9][10] and wrote his first short stories and dramas in 1877. Tagore achieved further note when he denounced the British Raj and supported Indian independence. His efforts endure in his vast canon and in the institution he founded, Visva-Bharati University. Tagore modernised Bengali art by spurning rigid classical forms. His novels, stories, songs, dance-dramas, and essays spoke to political and personal topics. Gitanjali (Song Offerings), Gora (Fair-Faced), and Ghare-Baire (The Home and the World) are his best-known works, and his verse, short stories, and novels were acclaimed for their lyricism, colloquialism, naturalism, and contemplation. Tagore was perhaps the only litterateur who penned anthems of two countries – Jana Gana Mana, the Indian national anthem and Amar Shonar Bangla, the Bangladeshi national anthem. Contents [hide]

1 Early life (1861–1901)
2 Life at St Xavier's Kolkata
3 Santiniketan (1901–1932)
4 Twilight years (1932–1941)
5 Personal life
6 Later years and death
7 Travels
8 Works
8.1 Novels
8.2 Non-fiction
8.3 Music and art
8.4 Theatre
8.5 Stories
8.6 Poetry
9 Political views
10 Impact
11 Corpus
12 Notes
13 Citations
14 References
15 Further reading
16 External links
[edit]Early life (1861–1901)

Main article: Early life of Rabindranath Tagore

In England, 1879

Tagore and Mrinalini Devi, 1883
The youngest of 13 surviving children, Tagore was born in the Jorasanko mansion in Kolkata of parents Debendranath Tagore (1817–1905) and Sarada Devi (1830–1875).ε[›][11] His ancestral home was in Pithabhog village under Rupsha Upazila of Khulna, then part of British India; now Bangladesh.[12] Tagore family patriarchs were the Brahmo founding fathers of the Adi Dharm faith. He was mostly raised by servants, as his mother had died in his early childhood; his father travelled extensively.[13] Tagore largely declined classroom schooling, preferring to roam the mansion or nearby idylls: Bolpur, Panihati, and others.[14][15] Upon his upanayan initiation at age eleven, Tagore left Calcutta on 14 February 1873 to tour India with his father for several months. They visited his father's Santiniketan estate and stopped in Amritsar before reaching the Himalayan hill station of Dalhousie. There, young "Rabi" read biographies and was home-educated in history, astronomy, modern science, and Sanskrit, and examined the poetry of Kālidāsa.[16][17] He completed major works in 1877, one long poem of the Maithili style pioneered by Vidyapati. Published pseudonymously, experts accepted them as the lost works of Bhānusiṃha, a newly discoveredζ[›] 17th-century Vaiṣṇava poet.[18] He wrote "Bhikharini" (1877; "The Beggar Woman"—the Bengali language's first short story)[19][20] and Sandhya Sangit (1882)—including the famous poem "Nirjharer Swapnabhanga" ("The Rousing of the Waterfall"). A prospective barrister, Tagore enrolled at a public school in Brighton, East Sussex, England in 1878. He first stayed for some months at a house that the Tagore family owned near Brighton and Hove, in Medina Villas;...
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