Book Review: Bhattacharyya, M. (2020). Rabindranath Tagore’s Śāntiniketan Essays: Religion, Spirituality and Philosophy. London & New York: Routledge
Rabindranath Tagore (7 May 1861 – 7 August 1941) was the first non-European poet and lyricist who received the most coveted of international awards, the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1913, “because of his profound sensitive, fresh and beautiful verse, by which, with consummate skill, he has made his poetic thought, expressed in his own English words, a part of the literature of the West.” (www.nobelprize.org ) His most notable work highly praised and duly appreciated by The Swedish Academy was Gitanjali: Song Offerings (1912), a collection of poetry, but Tagore is also famous for having written a variety of genres, including drama, essay, novel, novella, short-story, dance-drama, and song.
While Tagore is recognized today mostly for his poetry, his short stories also proved to be extremely popular in what is called the Bengali-language version of the genre, and his essays reveal another facet of his personality, and that is his philosophical thought in which he distinguished himself as a language innovator. Rabindranath Tagore’s Śāntiniketan Essays were translated and published by Medha Bhattacharyya in 2020 in a book celebrating Tagore’s “fundamental meditations on life, nature, religion, philosophy, and the world at large.” (Flyer, Bhattacharyya, 2020)
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