Tagore and Latin America

In school, I was initially exposed to Charles Dickens and Jules Verne, as I grew up the literature that really enraptured and then shaped my thinking was from Russia and later from Eastern Europe but above all from Latin America, a continent I knew neither as part of my education nor did I know the languages- Spanish and Portuguese. Yet, I took to Garcia Marquez and Mario Llosa, amongst others, as fish to water.

In a reversal of historical fact, it was the Latin American writers that lead me to some of the Anglo- Americans- Faulker, for example was via Carlos Fuentes. Still I have to state, with all due respect to Anglo- American literature, that the Anglo- Americans do not touch a raw nerve in me as do the Latin Americans.

Perhaps I will one day try and rationalize the natural affinity. Till then, see two interesting links below.

An interesting essay on the fascination for Tagore in Latin America. Link via SPATLIT.

How did Rabindranath Tagore come to be so well known and beloved in Latin America, a continent so different from India? Well, maybe because they are not so different.

And another interesting report from India from the same site .

While Akademi secretary K. Satchidanandan championed against the ‘monolithic, stereotypical concept of the Latin American novel’, Chilean critic Jaime Collyer asserted: ‘The myth and the hoax, this magic-religious interpretation of the world are as much a part of Spanish America as its actual discovery.’

The Sahitya Akademi, which is publishing Spanish-Hindi bilingual editions of Gabriela Mistral, Pablo Neruda, Octavio Paz and contemporary poets, has sought help from other publishers in this mammoth task.


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