Pre-Order Ships Jan 15, 2021
DescriptionOriginally published between 1910 and 1917, and collected in book form in 1923, The Epic of Damarudhar story cycle occupies an important and unique position in the history of Bengali literature. Tackling cosmology and mythology, class and caste abuse, nativist demagoguery and the harsh reality of rural poverty, all by means of unrelentingly fierce black comedy, Trailokyanath Mukhopadhyay's cycle of seven stories featuring the raconteur Damarudhar remains prescient social commentary to this day. With its generic fusion of tall tales, science, myth, politics, and the absurd, the work also announces the emergence of the genre of modern fantasy in Bengal. A detailed introduction, bibliography, and extensive annotation bring to life the context for these stories, highlighting key intertexts, political nuances, and important mythological references. This volume also contains the first translation of a rare biographical piece on the author, which includes long autobiographical parts written by Trailokyanath himself. Carefully translated and thoroughly researched, this volume will introduce a trenchant Indian voice to the English-language readership.
January 15, 2021
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About the Author
Trailokyanath Mukhopadhyay (1847-1919) was a leading figure of the Bengal Renaissance. He was an intrepid social reformer who contributed extensively to the development of sales networks for Indian traditional art and handicrafts and curated botanical exhibitions in Europe and India. He wrote one of the most widely read English-language travelogues from nineteenth-century India, A Visit to Europe, as well as many history books, novellas, and encyclopedic monographs and catalogues. Bodhisattva Chattopadhyay is senior researcher at the Department of Culture Studies and Oriental Languages, University of Oslo. Chattopadhyay is also a fellow of the Imaginary College, Center for Science and the Imagination, Arizona State University.