On "The Essential Tagore"

Just a quick note to say Happy New Year, and announce that I have a medium-length essay reviewing the new Harvard UP anthology of Tagore, The Essential Tagore.

The essay is up at Open Letters Monthly, and you can read it here.

Besides the usual reviewing and synopsis of Tagore's life and career I make a particular kind of argument regarding how I think Tagore should be read -- as someone who used three literary voices, (1) that of a lyric poet, (2) novelistic realism, and (3) satire. Some of his most interesting stories, poems, and plays are the ones where he shifts voices within the work, or uses more than one voice. The story "The Broken Nest" is one such example.  I also talk about a particular poem by Tagore called "The Poet," which isn't widely cited in English. And finally, I look briefly at one of the satirical Tagore plays included in the anthology, "The Kindgom of Cards."