Issue Date:30th NOV'2008
Details:Buddhadeva Bose (also spelt Buddhadeb Bosu)(1908-1974) was a major Bengali writer of the twentieth century. Frequently referred to as a poet, he was a versatile writer, and like Rabindranath Tagore, wrote novels, short stories, plays and essays in addition to poetry. He was an influential critic and editor of his time. He is recognized as one of the five poets who moved to introduce modernity into Bengali poetry. It has been said that since Tagore, perhaps, there has been no greater talent in Bengali literature.
- Life:Buddhadeb Bose (BB) was born in Comilla, Bengal, now in Bangladesh. His ancestral home was in the village of Malkhanagar in the Vikrampur region (in Munshiganj District, Bangladesh). His father's name was Bhudeb Chandra Bose and mother's name was Benoy Kumari. His mother died just few hours after his birth and his father for a year became a bereaved wanderer. He remarried few years later and settled down. So, Buddhadeva was brought up and raised by his maternal grandparents Chintaharan Sinha and Swarnalata Sinha. Literally they remained his soul parents. He was schooled at the Dhaka Collegiate School in Dhaka, in addition to high schools in Comilla and Noakhali. He passed the Matriculate examination in 1925. He secured the second place in the Intermediate examination. His early life was associated with Dhaka where he lived in a simple house at 47 Purana Paltan.
BB went to the University of Dhaka for studying English language and literature. He was a resident of the Jagannath Hall. After completing his MA in English from the University of Dhaka with distinciton marks that remains unsurpassed as yet (2007), he moved to Calcutta in 1931. Initially he had no regular job and resorted to 'private tuition' for livlihood.
While a student he became associated with the famous poetry magazine Kallol. The modernist literary movement of 1930s is often referred to as the Kallol era. He was also worked as an editor of the literary magazine Progoti (started 1926).
He married Pratibha Basu ( 1914/1915 - October 4, 2006) (nee Shome) in 1934. They had three children, Meenakshi Dutta (b. 1936), Damayanti Basu Singh (b. 1940) and Suddhashil Bose (1945-1987). Pratibha Bosu was an accomplished singer in her teens but later concentrated on literature and became a distinguished writer in her own right.
Buddhadeb Bosu taught at the Ripon College (now Surendranath College) and later worked as a journalist in the capacity of an editor for The Statesman. In 1956 he set up the Department of Comparative literature in the Jadavpur University and was on its faculty for a number of years. He was also a visiting professor at many universities in the United States.
One of his most important contributions to the Bengali literary scene was the establishment of the Kavita (tr. Poetry) - the flagship poetry magazine in Bengali, which he published and edited for 25 years.
BB has been described a disciplined, almost obsessed, worker by Nabaneeta Dev Sen. After meeting Buddhadeb Bosu, Clinton B. Seely remarked that Buddhadeva was a very intense person. He spoke quickly, with emotion. He laughed wonderfully. He was interested in everything... He was what I would come to refer to "jyanto," "alive," "vibrant," "energetic." Conversations were often at fever pitch. He was bubbling over with things to say.
BB who grew up almost as an orphan showed deep since of love and care for his children. In a letter to his daughter Damayanti Basu Singh who just flew to the USA for studies he wrote: “Rumi, since this morning, I am really worried. Have you kept your money and traveller’s cheques in a safe and handy place? I should’ve checked everything at the airport, but just didn’t remember to do so. Exchange the pounds I gave you in England. For your small expenditures spend the loose change that you have in dollars. With the money I gave you and the first instalment of your scholarship, open an account in Bloomington. Don’t deposit the traveller’s cheques in the account. You’ll need those for your trips across the country. And make sure you don’t lose the slip with the cheque numbers written on it. ...Baba.”Damayanti wrote that '... And I remember that Dad used to write late into the night. He used to place books beside the table lamp to block the light so that it wouldn’t disturb our sleep.'
- Literary style:Without undermining his genius, it can be said that Buddhadeb Bosu wrote poetry essentially under the influence of Western literature. In his early works he showed clear and very competent influence of Rabindranath Tagore. But both in terms of theme and style, he reflected the influence of renowned Western poets of whom Baudelaire should be named foremost. He was also influenced by Ezra Pound, William Butler Yeats and T. S. Eliot. Allegedly he believed in ‘arts for arts sake’ and emphasized on technical perfection of his works. Although he mostly wrote in free verse, he command of rhyme and rhythm was unmistakable. His prose style was also established on a diction developed by himself. His novels remain modern even by standards of the twentieth first century. He established a style of appreciative literary criticism that remains unparalleled.
- Recognition:Apart from formal recognition mentioned below, BB remains the most important literary personality of the twentieth century Bengali literature, after Rabindranath Tagore. Buddhdaeb became the central figure in a cluster of poets who came to embody Bengali modernism in early 20th century.In emphasizing BB's importance, Ashok Mitra commented, 'These days we buy tickets to hear a poet. There was a time 60-70 years ago when a poet was considered to be unemployed and mad. If Buddhadeva Bose had not come up with a poetry magazine, things would not have been the same. There would have been no Jibanananda Das but for Buddhadeva Bose.'
Buddhadeb Bosu received the Sahitya Akademi Award in 1967 for his verse play Tapaswi O Tarangini, received the Rabindra Puraskar in 1974 for Swagato Biday(poetry) and was honoured with a Padma Bhushan in 1970.
So far about 200 titles have been published, including 'collected works' in several volumes. Some of them are mentioned below.
Mormorani , Bondir Bondona , Prithibir Pothe , Konkaboti , Notun Pata , Domoyonti , Droupodir Sari , Sreshto Kobita , Sheter Prarthona: Bosonter Uttor , Je Adhar Alor Odhik , Morche Pora Pereker Gan , Bloomington, Indiana [?]
Shara , Akormonnya , Momo Deya Neya , Jobonika Poton , Rhododrendron Guchho , Sanonda , Amar Bondhu , Jedin Futlo Komal , He Bijoyi Bir , Dhusor Godhuli , Lalmegh , Bashor Ghar , Kalo Haoa , Tithi Dore , Nirjon Swakhor , Moulinath , Sonpangshu , Shesh Pandulipi , Ratvor Brishti , Golap Keno Kalo .
Short story collections
Ovinoy, Ovinoy Noy, Rekhachitro, Era Ar Ora, Abong Aro Oneke, Odrisho Satru, Misses Gupta, Premer Bichitra Goti, Ghorete Bhromro Elo, Notun Nesha, Feriwala O Onnano Golpo, Khatar Shhesh Pata, Ekti Sokal O Ekti Shyandhya, Golpo Songkolon, Shreshtho Golpo, Hridoyer Joyogan, Vashao Amar Vela.
Mayamalancha, Taposhi O Torongini, Kalshanhya, Punormilon, Kolkatar Electra
Hothat Alor Jhalkani, Uttor Tirish, Kaler Putul, Sahityacharcha, Rabindranath: Kotha Sahitya, Sanga Nishangata Rabindranath, Prabandha Sonkolon, Mohavarater Kotha, An acre of green grass - a review of modern Bengali literature, Tagore - portrait of a poet.
Works of translation
Kalidasa's Meghdut, Charles Baudelaire O Tar Kobita.
Remark:Thanks to GOD this time on Sunday the materials are in the postoffice.