The Picture of My Early Life (Jibansmriti)



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Rabindranath Tagore wrote The Picture of My Early Life (Jibansmriti) in Bengali when he was fifty-one. An unconventional autobiography, The Picture of My Early Life is a rambling series of ‘memory pictures’ that the great litterateur and thinker chronicled covering the first twenty-seven formative years of his life. The descriptions are insightful, informative of the period and are wrapped in wry and self-deprecating humour. The use of conjugated words together with a complex prose structure makes it a timeless literary creation where not a word or punctuation feels out of place. The Picture of My Early Life is a definitive translation in English of Jibansmriti, written a century ago and published just before Tagore was honoured with the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1913. In this translation, every attempt has been made to be true to the original and to preserve the finer nuances to the extent possible in another language.

In commemoration of Rabindranath Tagore’s 150th birth anniversary, The Picture of My Early Life presents an opportunity to the English-speaking global audience to discover Tagore’s vision of universal humanity with a hope that it also helps to dispel the notion that Tagore was solely a mystic poet.

Prasenjit Saha, an alumnus of Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Kharagpur, India is an engineer by profession who feels strongly about promoting Bengali literature to the world. After translating Rabindranath Tagore’s Jibansmriti, Prasenjit is currently working on the translation of Parthiba by Sirshendu Mukhopadhyay. Prasenjit lives and works at Calgary, Alberta, Canada.

Patrick Colm Hogan is a Professor in the Department of English, the Programme in Comparative Literature and Cultural Studies, and the India Studies Programme at the University of Connecticut, Storrs, USA. Patrick’s research treats World Literature with particular reference to South Asian Culture. Some of his recent publications include: Cognitive Science, Literature, and the Arts: A Guide for Humanists (Routledge, 2003), The Mind and its Stories: Narrative Universals and Human Emotion (Cambridge University Press, 2003), Understanding Indian Movies (University of Texas Press, 2008), and The Cambridge Encyclopaedia of the Language Sciences (Cambridge University Press, 2010).

Honourable Association