Bengali Literature

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Bengali Literature


literature of the Bengali nationality in India and Pakistan. The earliest literary monument in the Bengali language is generally considered to be the Carya, a collection of hymns, ritualistic in content, which were compiled in the 10th, 11th, and 12th centuries. The flowering of lyrics in the 16th and 17th centuries was linked to the bhakti movement. In medieval Bengali literature, narrative poems (mangalkavya) were very important; these were dedicated to the “preservative” or “active” gods, such as Manasa (goddess of serpents) and Candi (protectress of animals). The majority of mangalkavya were recorded in writing in the 17th and 18th centuries, but they had been created earlier. Their authors were Vijay Gupta (15th century) and Dvij Madhavacarya (16th century). The Poem in Praise of Candi by Mukundaram Chokrobortti (also known as Kabikonkon or Kabikankan) is outstanding.

The Muslim poets Daulat Kaji (17th century) and Saiya Alaol (17th century) were the first to turn toward secular themes and to synthesize Hindu and Muslim culture in Bengal. Composed primarily at the courts of feudal aristocrats, Bengali poetry lost its popular character toward the beginning of the 18th century. There was a renaissance of Sanskrit poetics, a “decorative” style was cultivated, and the erotic element predominated; these factors are exemplified in the works of Bharatcandra Ray (1707–60) and the poet-songwriter Ramprasad Sen (1720–75). However, in the late 18th and early 19th centuries religious-mythological subject matter gave way to philosophical poetry. The religious reformer, philosopher, and writer Ram Mohun Roy (1774–1833); the publicist Aksay Kumar Datta (1820–86); and the writers Isvarcandra Gupta (1811–59) and Isvar-candra Bidyasagar (1820–91) were the pioneers of Bengali prose. The role they played as enlighteners promoted the creation of a modern Bengali national literature. The novel, the novella, the drama, the heroic poem, the ballad, and the sonnet arose. Historical-patriotic and social problems were integral to the novels of Pyaricad Mitra (1814–83), Bankim-candra Cattopadhyay (1838–94), and Ramascandra Datta (1848–1909); the dramas of Ramnarayan Tarkaratna (1822–86), Dinabandhu Mitra (1829–74), and Madhusudan Datta (1824–73); and the poetry of the romantics Rangalal Bandyopadhyay (1827–87), Hemcandra Bandyopadhyay (1838–1903), and Nabincandra Sen (1847–1909). The most outstanding representative of Bengali literature in the 19th and 20th centuries was Rabindranath Tagore (1861–1941), who influenced the writers of all of India. The writers Sarat-candra Cattopadhyay (1876–1938) and Bibhutibhusan Bandyopadhyay (1896–1950) joined Tagore’s realistic school.

Since 1947 (the partition and independence of India) Bengali literature has been developing in the Indian states of West Bengal, Assam, Bihar, and Orissa and in East Pakistan. The most important genres are the one-act play, the short story, and civic and romantic lyrics. The basic themes of the period from the 1940’s to the 1960’s—social problems, the struggle for a new India, and others—are expressed in the works of the contemporary prose writers Tarasankar Bandyopadhyay (1908–56), and Narayan Bandyopadhyay (born 1918); and the poets Nazrul Islam (born 1899), Joshim Uddin (born 1902), Bimolcandra Ghos (born 1908), and others.


Novikova, V. A. Ocherki istorii bengal’skoi literatury 10–18 νν. Leningrad, 1965.
Ray, N. Bengal’skaia poeziia X1X-XX vv. Moscow, 1963.
Tovstykh, I. Bengal’skaia literatura. Moscow, 1965.
Sen, Sukumar. Bangala sahityer itihasa, vols. 1–4. Calcutta, 1948–58.
Haq, Muhammad Enamul. Muslim Bangala sahitya. Dacca 1965.
Sen, Sukumar. History of Bengali Literature. New Delhi, 1960.


References in periodicals archive ?
He is specially known for the famous epic Meghnadbadh Kabya (1861), which is a tragic epic and is exceptional in Bengali literature both in terms of style and content.
For this there is no alternative to literary pursuit," she said while inaugurating the three-day International Bengali Literature Conference in Dhaka yesterday.
One of the greatest literary giants of the Bengali literature, Nares Chandra Sen-Gupta 1882-1964, who translated Anandmath for the first time in English in 1906, made it very clear in the preface that, "two outstanding features of our author's conception of patriotism are its provincialism and its religious tone.
Bose also made his first entry into the science fiction world in 1896, when he published the short story "The Story of the Missing One," which stands as one of the first forays into the genre in Bengali literature.
Students though were least amused as many could not figure out the meanings of various quotes written in the book and even professors of Bengali literature could not interpret the meanings of various sentences.
Just last month, four prominent academics from Jadavpur University in Kolkata visited Aberystwyth for a translation workshop between Welsh and Bengali literature, poetry and theatre, as part the first event in the calendar of the newly created Centre for Cultural Translation at Aberystwyth University.
Sangskriti Sangsad a leading cultural organization of Dhaka University organized a mass demonstration against the ban on Tagore's poetry and called upon the people to resist the conspiracy' against Bengali literature and culture.
In Bengali literature, idiomatic expressions and relations terms are quite frequently used.
RM: Self-translation occupies a special place in Bengali literature.
11 ( ANI ): President Pranab Mukherjee presented the Sunil Gangopadhyay Memorial Award for Excellence in Bengali Literature to eminent poet and literateur Nirendranth Chakravarty for the year 2012 and Sankha Ghosh for the year 2013 respectively at a function held here.
Anju Modi ruled Day three with her couture line inspired by Bengali literature
All Bengali literature is burned, it becomes illegal to carry a musical instrument and women are required to have a male escort at all times.