My Life in My Words

My Life in My Words

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Book Specification

Item Code: IDI622
Author: Uma Das Gupta
Publisher: Penguin Viking
Edition: 2006
ISBN: 9780143415350
Pages: 415 (Black & White Illus: 6)
Cover: Paperback
Other Details 8.6"X 5.5

Book Description

From the Jacket

It is not easy to know oneself. I have made different attempts to make sense of my life. The only thing I have been able to conclude about myself is that I am a poet, nothing else, no matter all the other things I may have done with my life.

The Renaissance man of modern India. Rabindranath Tagore put his country on the literary map of the world when he won the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1913. Though known primarily as a poet and writer, Tagore was also a painter, composer and philosopher, an educationist and rural reformer.

My Life in My Words is, quite literally, Tagore on Tagore. Uma Das Gupta draws upon the vast repertoire of Tagore's writings-his autobiographical works, speeches, letters and poems-to create a vivid portrait of the life and times of one of India's most influential cultural icons. The result is a rare glimpse into the world of Rabindranath Tagore: his family of pioneering entrepreneurs, saints, poets and composers who shaped his world view; the personal tragedies that influenced some of his most eloquent verse; his ground-breaking work in education and social reform; his constant endeavour to bring about a synthesis of the East and the West and his humanitarian approach to politics; and his rise to the status of an international poet.

Meticulously researched and sensitively edited, this unique autobiography provides an incomparable insight into the mind of a genius.

About the Author

Rabindranath Tagore was born in 1861. he was the fourteenth child of Debendranath Tagore, head of the Brahmo Samaj. The family house at Jorasanko was a hive of cultural and intellectual activity and Tagore started writing at an early age. In the 1890s he lived in rural East Bengal, managing family estates. He was involved in the Swadeshi campaign against the British in the early 1900s. in 1912 he travelled to England with Gitanjali, a collection of English poems, and won the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1913. Tagore was knighted in 1915, an honour he repudiated in 1919 after the Jallianwala Bagh massacre. In the 1920s and 1930s he lectured extensively in America, Europe, the Far East and middle East. Proceeds from these and from his Western publications went to Visva-Bharati. His school and university at Santiniketan. A prolific writer, his works include poems, novels, plays, short stories, essays and songs. Late in his life Tagore took up painting, exhibiting in Moscow, Berlin, Paris, London and New York. He died in 1941.

Uma Das Gupta was educated at Presidency College, Calcutta, and the University of Oxford. Her postdoctoral research was on Rabindranath Tagore and the history of the institutions he founded at Santiniketan and Sriniketan, 1901-41. Das Gupta was head of the United States Educational Foundation in India for the Eastern Region. Her recent publications include a Difficult Friendship: Letters of Edward Thompson and Rabindranath Tagore, 1913-40 and Rabindranath Tagore: A Biography, Her forthcoming publications include the Oxford India Tagore anthology. She is currently editing a volume on 'Science, Colonialism, and Nationalism: an Institutional History, 1784-1947' for the Project of History of Indian Science, Philosophy and Culture of the Centre for Studies in Civilizations, New Delhi.

Acknowledgements ix
Introduction xi
1 My Family and the Changing Times 3
2 My Boyhood Days 15
3 My Father and Mother 27
4 A New Chapter in My Life 39
5 Leaving Home: Ahmedabad and England, 1878-79 51
6 My Education 63
7 Writing Poetry 75
8 Restless Years, 1883-90 87
9 On the Threshold of Thirty 99
10 My Wife and Children 111
11 Letters to My Children 125
12 Starting My School at Santiniketan, 1901 136
13 My Experience of the Swadeshi Movement 148
14 Gitanjali and the Nobel Prize, 1913 160
15 My Travels in Japan and the USA, 1916-17 172
16 Renouncing the Knighthood, and My Arguments against Non-cooperation 183
17 'A World in One Nest': Visva-Bharati University, Santiniketan 194
18 Visva-Bharati 'Sriniketan': A Scheme for Village Reconstruction 204
19 In China, 1924 215
20 An Unexpected Stop in Argentina 227
21 Gandhiji and I 239
22 In Europe Again, 1926 253
23 An Uneasy though Versatile Period, 1927-31 265
24 More Travel, More Poetry, More Drama 279
25 Crisis and Hope: My Last Years, 1937-41 293
26 On Myself 309
27 On Religion 319
28 On Nature 328
29 On My Country 336
30 On British Rule in India 348
31 To My Friends 360
32 From My Poems and Songs 369
Select Bibliography 384
Index 389

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