About the Book:
A prequel to A History of Indian Literature 1800-1910 by the same author, the present volume deals with the first nine hundred years of the medieval period of Indian literary history. The literary scene in India during the period presents a fantastically varied and wide spectrum of thought and expression, here vibrant, there dull, now vigorous and natural, now sophisticated and recondite, at once sublime and crude. It is amazing both in quality and quantity, produced in many languages, some interrelated and interdependent, sharing the same tradition, some distinctly separate and stubbornly resisting any possible influence of the other. As in other periods, so in the medieval period, there is a co-existence of different literary traditions, some old, refusing to die out, some dominant and popular, and some new struggling to assert themselves.
Radically different from all existing models of literary history, A History of Indian Literature is an account of the literary activities of the Indian people carried through in many languages and under different social conditions. It is the story of a multilingual literature, a plurality of linguistic expressions and cultural experience and also of the remarkable unity underlying them.
About the Author:
Sisir Kumar Das (1936-2003) was the Tagore Professor in the Department of Modern Indian Languages at Delhi University till 2001. A poet, playwright, children's writer, scholar and linguist, he authored several books in Bengali and English, including The Shadow of the Cross: Hinduism and Christianity in a Colonial Situation (1974) and The Artist in Chains: The Life of Bankim Chandra Chatterjee (1986), both of which won him Rabindra Puraskar, the highest literary award of the West Bengal Government. He also edited The English Writings of Rabindranath Tagore in three volumes, published by the Sahitya Akademi in 1996.
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