Amit Chaudhuri and Sunetra Gupta: Tagore the contradictions of the modern

Filed under: Poetry

Prize-winning novelist, poet and critic Amit Chaudhuri and Sunetra Gupta, novelist and Oxford epidemiologist explore Tagore . Chaired by Peter Parker.

Joint meeting between the RSL and the University of Warwick

Admired by both Yeats and Pound, Rabindranath Tagore (1861 – 1941) was the first Asian to win the Nobel Prize for Literature, and the first Indian writer to become internationally famous. Born in Calcutta, a product of the nineteenth-century Bengali Renaissance, he achieved eminence in many fields: as a poet, novelist, playwright, short story writer, painter, educationalist and philosopher. The innumerable songs for which he composed both words and music remain hugely popular, and two of them were adopted as the national anthems of India and Bangladesh. In the year marking the sixtieth anniversary of Indian Independence, prize-winning novelist, poet and critic Amit Chaudhuri explores Tagore’s constant struggle to refashion himself, both as an unacknowledged modernist, who was often in disagreement with European modernism, and as a nationalist who distrusted nationalism and privileged daydreams. Sunetra Gupta, novelist and Oxford epidemiologist, reads from Tagore’s work.

We are grateful to the Robert Gavron Charitable Trust for sponsoring this lecture

Recorded on Monday 29 October 2007.