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Bose, Buddhadeva 1908–1974

Bose, Buddhadeva 1908–1974

PERSONAL: First name sometimes transliterated Buddhaleba; born November 30, 1908, in Comilla, India (now Bangladesh); died 1974; son of Bhudebchandra and Benoykumari Bose; married Pratibha Basu (a singer and writer). Education: University of Dhaka, B.A. (with honors), M.A.

CAREER: Jadavpur University, Calcutta, India, professor of literature, founder of department of comparative literature; speaker at universities in the United States; Kabitabhavan (publishing house; name means "House of Poetry"), Calcutta, India, founder.


An Acre of Green Grass: A Review of Modern Bengali Literature, Orient Longmans (Bombay, India), 1948, reprinted, Papyrus (Calcutta, India), 1982.

Buddhadeba Basura sreshthakabita, 1953.

(Editor) Adhunika Bamlakabita (poems), 1954.

Buddhadeba Basura Svanirbacita galpa, 1955.

Ekati ki duti pakhi, 1955.

Sitera parthana: basantera uttara, 1955.

Sesha pandulipi, 1956.

(Translator) Kalidasa, Kalidasera Meghaduta, 1957.

Svadesa o samskrti, 1957.

Ye-andhara alora adhika, 1958.

Sonapamsu, 1959.

Hrdayera jagarana, 1960.

Nilanjanera khata, 1960.

Sahityacarca (Bengali literature), 1961.

Tagore: Portrait of a Poet (lectures), University of Bombay (Bombay, India), 1962.

Elomelo, 1962.

Bisakha (novel), 1962.

Japani jarnala (Japanese travel), 1962.

Damayanti (poems), 1963.

Sanga-nihsangata: Rabindrantha, 1963.

Bhaso, amara bhela, 1963.

Kabi Rabindranatha, 1966.

Marace-para perekera gana (poems), 1966.

Tapasvi o Tarangini, 1966.

Desantara, 1966.

Prabandha-samkalana, 1966.

Bai dhara diyo na, 1966.

Patala theka alapa (novel), 1967.

Rata bhare brshti, 1967, translation by Clinton B. Seely published as Rain through the Night, Hind Pocket Books (Delhi, India), 1973.

Kshanikera, Deba Sahitya Kutira (Calcutta, India), 1967.

Kalabaisakhira jhara (crime fiction), 1968.

Kalakatara Ilektra o satyasandha (play), 1968.

Golapa kena kalo (novel), 1968.

Anyanara Madhye eka (novel), 1968.

Chayak-kalo-kalo, Deba Sahitya Kutira (Calcutta, India), 1968.

Bhutera mata adbhuta, Deba Sahitya-Kutira (Calcutta, India), 1968.

Kalasandhya, 1969.

Bipanna Bismaya, Ananda Pabalisarsa (Calcutta, India), 1969.

Punarmilana, 1970.

Anamni Angana, 1970.

(Editor) An Anthology of Bengali Writing, Macmillan Co. of India (Bombay, India), 1971.

Premapatra o anyanya galpa, 1972.

Rukmi (novel), 1972.

Samkranti (play and adaptations), 1973.

Amara chelebela (biography), 1973.

Kabitara satru o mitra (poetry history and criticism), 1974.

Prabhata o sandhya (novel), 1975.

Buddhadeba Basura racanasamgraha, edited by Haraprasada Mitra and Niranjana Cakrabart, Granthalaya (Calcutta, India), 1975.

Eka brddhera dayeri (diary), Deja Pabalisim (Calcutta, India), 1980.

Mahabharatera katha (nonfiction), Ema. Si. Sarakara (Calcutta, India), 1986, translation by Sujit Mukherjee published as The Book of Yudhisthir: A Study of the Mahabharat of Vyas, Orient Longman (Mumbai, India), 1986.

Three Mahabharata Verse Plays, translation by Kanak Kanti De, Writers Workshop (Calcutta, India), 1992.

Modern Poetry and Sanskrit Kavya, translation by Sujit Mukherjee, Writers Workshop (Calcutta, India), 1997.

(With others) Buddhadeba Basu 90 smarakagrantha, Bikalpa Praka Sani (Calcutta, India), 1998.

Pata jhare yaya o anyanya nataka (one-act plays), Bikalpa Prakasani (Calcutta, India), 1999.

Kisora racana samagra (anthology of children's stories), Mitra o Ghosha Pabalisarsa (Calcutta, India), 1999.

Buddhadeba Basura sreshtha galpa (stories), Deja Pabalisim (Calcutta, India), 2000.

Editor of literary journals, including Pragati (title means "Progress"), 1925–29, and Kabita (title means "Poetry"), 1935–61.

SIDELIGHTS: Buddhadeva Bose is one of the major figures in twentieth-century Bengali literature. As a writer of poetry and prose, editor of literary journals, founder of a publishing house, and professor of literature, Bose shaped many aspects of what is termed the post-Tagore period in Bengali literature.

When Bose was a young man in the East Bengal region of the British colony of India, the field of Bengali literature was dominated by one man, Rabindranath Tagore. In the 1920s, when Bose was a teenager, he and other young Bengali writers, while still recognizing Tagore's great talent, began to rebel against his overwhelming presence. Several literary magazines, including Bose's Pragati, were founded in East Bengal to promote writers who sought to free themselves from Tagore's influence, and a rising tide of modernism began to be felt. Bose's own writings were a forerunner in this regard, but his inclusion of morbid and potentially obscene themes, common in modernist writings, was shocking to many other Bangladeshis. Tagore himself criticized one of Bose's short stories, published in the journal Kollol in 1926.

By this point Bose, although not yet twenty, was already recognized as a rising star. He was home-schooled by his grandfather in a provincial town for many years before the family moved to Dhaka, the major city of Bangladesh, and Bose enrolled in the city's Collegiate School. Bose published his first piece in a magazine at age thirteen, a year before moving to Dhaka. Thanks to his grandfather's teaching, Bose was a competent writer in three languages—English and Sanskrit in addition to Bangladesh's native Bengali—a fact which only further reinforced his reputation as a prodigy among his teachers and others in Dhaka.

At the age of twenty-three, Bose abandoned Dhaka for Calcutta, a major city in another part of India. There, Bose very nearly became a one-man Bengali literature industry. He founded a quarterly poetry journal, Kabita, and an associated publishing house, Kabitabhavan, as well as a department of comparative literature at Jadavpur University in Calcutta. His family's famous apartment, 202 Rashbehari Avenue, was a popular gathering place for the intelligentsia of the area, and from this base Bose traveled the world lecturing about literature. Although by the time of his death in 1974 Bose had written over one hundred books, including poetry collections, plays, novels, and a critically acclaimed analysis of the great Indian epic the Mahabharata, very few of them have been translated into English.



Amara chelebela (biography), 1973.


Daily Star (Calcutta, India), March 22, 2003, Fakrul Alam, "Buddhadeva Bose in Noakhali and Dhaka, or a Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man," Noazesh Ahmed, "Buddhadeva Bose: Choosing a Pen in Madison," Amiya Chakraborty, "The Kolkata of Buddhadeva Bose: Hungry Hounds and Tollygunge Trams."


Parabaas, (September 10, 2003), "Buddhadeva Bose: Biographical Sketch."

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