04 December, 2020

Literature: Buddhadev Bose

To make a pronouncement on who might be the pre-eminent literary figure of post-independence India is both foolish and difficult...

Literature: Buddhadev Bose
outlookindia.com
-0001-11-30T00:00:00+05:53
To make a pronouncement on who might be the pre-eminent literary figure of post-independence India is both foolish and difficult. For one thing, we are compromised, in equal degrees, by ignorance and certitude: we know so little about Indian literary history, but we have no compunctions in talking about it. Given the circumstances, one can make a personal choice, not a balanced one; and my choice is the writer Buddhadev Bose. It's a choice made after some deliberation. Others come to mind—the poet Jibanananda Das; the poet, translator, and essayist A.K. Ramanujan; the novelists and short story writers Qurratulain Haider and U.R. Ananthamurthy, to name only four—but in the quality and range of his literary endeavour, Bose foreshadows many of these figures. He was a master of a bewildering number of forms, all of which he handled with an odd but striking mixture of preternatural subtlety and discomfiting forthrightness: poetry, the novel, the short story, the essay, and literary criticism. He is the author of one of the first great post-independence novels, Tithidore....
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