About the Book:
The essays collected fin this volume, written by literary critics, artists, philosophers, and social scientists were first presented at a seminar to commemorate the 125th birth Tagore. Not only do they offer now insights on creativity and the myriad forms in which it manifested itself in Tagore's work, but also on the relationship between the poet's creative impulse education, rural reconstruction, and paper is distinct from the other in style, thought, and argument, they are all linked by a common concern of Tagore in his own context and his relevance to the challenges that face the world today.
We consider it a privilege to have been asked to edit these• seminar papers for publication, though it is doubtless an onerous privilege. The authors of these papers are all distinguished specialists in their own fields, with their individual points of view and ways of presentation. So, in arranging the papers in readable continuity they have had to be handled with care to preserve their special character and flavour. We have tried to keep the texts as they were in most cases except where we noticed a small factual discrepancy, which is inevitable in the case of a person like Rabindranath who had become a legend in his lifetime, or a typing error, or a slight change in quotation or reference, or where a minor linguistic alteration brought out the author's meaning more effectively.
We have included for publication all the papers that were received by us from the Institute. They include three papers from invitees who could not be present at the seminar. On the other hand, two who were present had talked from notes in the seminar and did not send in any final text for publication. In their case we have had to rest content with a brief account of the points they made in the report of the discussions.
the points they made in the report of the discussions.
We have arranged the papers in five sections without strictly following the order in which they were presented, or were scheduled to be presented, in the seminar; the caption of each section should help to explain the reason for this.
We have given at the end a condensed account of the discussions. This condensation was inevitable as the transcribed text of the discussions was almost as long as the papers. We have, however, tried our best to record all the basic points raised by the participants.
Reading through the papers again for the purpose of editing has been an education for us; it has brought home to us afresh the inexhaustible depth of Rabindranath's vision and the continuing validity and relevance of many of his messages. We thank the Director of the Institute for having given us the opportunity to be associated with the publication.
We have included in this publication a few reproductions of Rabindranath's paintings following the symposium on his artistic creativity. Even though they may not give an adequate picture of his artistic genius or its development, as the exhibition that was held during the seminar did to some measure, they will, we are sure, add colour and value to the publication. We are grateful to Rabindra Bhavana, Visva-Bharati for their generous permission to reproduce these works from their collection.
Our thanks are also due to Mr P. K. Ghosh, Mr Samik Banerjee and Mr Buddhadev Bhattacharya for the enormous pains they have taken to prepare final copy for the press.
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