Introduction to Rabindranath Tagore : Life and Works




This Indica Course will offer an immersion in Tagore’s creative and critical corpus to help the learner understand the keynote of Tagore’s monumental literary, artistic, and altruistic oeuvre – which is the unique Hindu emphasis on aspiring for the higher modes of existence, the life of the spirit, without denying the life of flesh and blood for a moment, while treating the latter as an important site of the unfolding of – and a veritable proof of – the former.

Lectures, presentations, guided critical readings of texts, and carefully selected course material, will help the learner acquire essential reading and interpretive skills to understand the deeper aesthetic, philosophical, and spiritual roots of Tagore’s literary and extra-literary oeuvre.

Course Objectives

  • To derive emic insights into the historical and cultural conditions that made the ‘event’ of Rabindranath Tagore possible and helped it thrive in more ways than one through guided reading, listening discussions, and reflection on Tagore’s oeuvre.
  • To garner enough biographical information to aid our reading, understanding, and interpretation of Tagore’s literary and extra-literary corpus.
  • To come to a conceptual and intuitive understanding of the aesthetic, philosophical, and religious-spiritual roots of Tagore’s works through an appreciation of the linguistic, musical, and artistic media deployed by the Poet.
  • To appreciate and critically scrutinize Tagore’s literary and extra-literary corpus vis-à-vis the religious-spiritually inflected literary and artistic tradition of Bengal in particular and India in general.
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