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Visva puts Tagore’s works in order

Santiniketan, May 8: Visva-Bharati will for the first time bring out a chronological collection of Rabindranath Tagore’s works.

The first volume, which will have Tagore’s works between ages 12 and 19, will be released by vice-chancellor Sushanta Dattagupta tomorrow evening.

A varsity source said at least 18 volumes would be published. The first volume has around 80 poems, novels and essays written by the bard between 1873 and 1880.

Varsity sources said a six-member team led by Rabindra Bhavana director Tapati Mukhopadhyay worked for three years to compile the first volume.

“We are glad that on the 153rd birth anniversary of Gurudev, we will release Kalanukramik Rabindra Rachanabali. The compilation will have Tagore’s works in chronological order, starting with those he wrote when he was 12 years old,” Mukhopadhyay said.

The sources said 1,000 copies of the first volume, which have been printed at a cost of Rs 5 lakh, would be released tomorrow. Each book will be priced at Rs 1,000.

According to the sources, the Union ministry of culture had provided Rs 55 lakh on Tagore’s 150th birth anniversary for the project.

“It was a difficult task arranging the works of Tagore chronologically. The team toiled for three years to compile the volume,” a Visva-Bharati official said.

“The team found some manuscripts of poems, songs and essays that appeared to be in Tagore’s handwriting but did not have his signature. Some printed works of the poet were found in tattered periodicals, whose time of publication could not be determined. Such works have been kept in the appendix,” the official added.

The official said there were some spelling mistakes in Tagore’s earlier works but they had not been corrected in the book. “We have, however, pointed out the mistakes and mentioned the correct spellings,” he said.

Another official said: “The first poem by Tagore in the volume is Abhilash, written when he was 12. The last work is an essay titled Paribarik Dashatwa (Family Slavery).”

Tagore researchers are anxious to know when all the volumes will be published.

Amitra Sudan Bhattacharya, a former Tagore professor of Visva-Bharati, said this evening: “The varsity should mention clearly when all the volumes are going to be published.”

Rabindra Bhavana director Mukhopadhyay said the team had completed the second volume. “The next 16 volumes will be completed in two years.”