Yeats and Tagore: A Comparative Study of Cross-Cultural Poetry, Nationalist Politics, Hyphenated Margins and The Ascendancy of the Mind


Majumdar, Sirshendu


M.Phil. & PhD. Jadavpur University, Assistant Professor of English, Bolpur College, University of Burdwan, West Bengal India

“ This major monograph enables us for the first time to enter deeply into Bengali archives of Tagore to discuss the Yeats and Tagore relationship with the crucial link of James Henry Cousins, an Irish Theosophist who lived in India after acting at the Abbey Theatre fully illuminated and explained: Cousins was related by belief and controversy to Yeats and by marriage and religion to Tagore. This work should be in research libraries . It has scholarly importance not only for Yeats Studies but for Tagore and Theosophy in India as well as Ireland . It also contains an excellent account of Orientalism and Celticism in late 19th and early 20th century literature. - Dr Michael Collie

This work is a comparative study of Rabindranath Tagore and William Butler Yeats. It explores their relationship and also seeks to clarify how and why these two poets shared certain ideas and ideals while there were also divergences. The author has also studied the role of James Henry Cousins, who in his early career was associated with the Irish Revival, but later on settled in India where he got involved with the cultural renaissance and nationalist movement. Cousins was related to both Tagore and Yeats;to Yeats by creative partnership[the Abbey Theatre and the Irish Literary Revival]and Tagore via close contact and mutual beliefs.

Professor Majumdar's research is based on fresh interpretation of the primary works of these writers. He has used published works in standard critical editions but most importantly he has discovered unpublished and translated them. The author reads Bengali, and has utilized a large number of Rabindranath Tagore’s letters and works not available in English translation. He has also consulted Tagore’s private papers and collections available only in the Rabindra Bhavana Archives and Library at Santiniketan.

In addition Majumdar has also researched and translated primary works of other writers both in Bengal, Europe and Ireland, many of these primary sources are rare and not easily accessible to scholarship. Dr. Majumdar is one of India's finest scholars in Irish poetry and literature and this work is an important contribution to the study of Yeats as well as Tagore.

Yeats, Irish Studies, Yeats-Tagore relationship, Tagore, Indo-Irish anti-Colonialism, subaltern studies, Irish poetry, Bengali poetry and prose 1890-1920, Theosophy and Politics, nationalism and theatre, The Great War in India (1914-1918), marginalization of elites in India and Ireland
Release Date: 
April 2013
Cloth: 978-1-936320-64-6
Trim Size: 

1727 Massachusetts Avenue, NW, Suite 507
Washington, DC 20036