Fair launch for Panigrahi's anthology

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  • Published 21.03.08

Cuttack, March 20: National Book Trust (NBT) is set to release Bhagabati Charan Galpamala, the first-ever complete collection of short stories written by Bhagabati Charan Panigrahi — a pioneer of Communist Oriya literature.

The book edited by Bijay Kumar Satpathy features a collection of original stories written by Panigrahi (1908-1943), associated with the Progressive Group of Writers in the 1930s.

The anthology has some of the more sensitive tales in Oriya literature and is known for its “robust realism” in rural Orissa.

The themes of the stories veer around alienation and exploitation by landlords, moneylenders and urban capitalists in the colonial era as well as the formation of tribal “consciousness”.

They also deal with rural protest and concepts of morality, justice and rationality in that era.

“The collection will be released to mark the writer’s birth centenary year at the Cuttack Book Fair scheduled to start from Saturday,” NBT’s assistant editor (Oriya) Pramod Sar told The Telegraph today.

Bhagabati Charan Panigrahi, who enjoyed a short literary career (he died at the age of 35), reinvented Oriya short story writing. He published some of his stories in the Adhunika in the 1930s.

Earlier, publisher Nabina Viswa Sahitya Sangathan had come up with a collection of Sahakar and Other Stories.

“But NBT will be the first to bring out all 12 stories written by him, including an Oriya translation of his English piece,” Sar added.

The anthology would have a 33-page preface penned by Bijay Kumar Satpathy, an acclaimed researcher of progressive literature.

The collection would include Shikar, Mimansha, Junglee, Arambha Oh Sesha, Mrutyura Chetana, Jeevanarah Samadhi, Banchita, Samayatita, Jhada, Misranka Kopa, Majlish and Confession.

The NBT, under it’s national biography series, would also publish monographs on Orissa’s who’s who — Samanta Chandrasekhar, Biju Patnaik, Gopabandhu Choudhury, Nabakrushna Choudhury, Sarala Devi, Rama Devi and Malati Choudhury. “Work on this has started and parts of it are in final stages,” Sar added.

NBT is organising the Cuttack Book Fair as a part of its golden jubilee year celebrations after a gap of some 38 years.