Launch of “Young Tagore” By Sudhir Kakar, 16 September 2013 [fr]
H.E. Mr François Richier, Ambassador of France to India, had the pleasure of hosting the launch of Dr Sudhir Kakar’s latest book, Young Tagore, published by Penguin India. Dr Kakar presented his book and was in conversation with Prof. Harish Trivedi.
Young Tagore is a first-of-its-kind psychobiography that deepens our understanding of Rabindranath Tagore, India’s great multifaceted genius. In this reconstruction of Tagore’s childhood and youth, preeminent psychoanalyst Sudhir Kakar draws a nuanced portrait of the young prodigy and the decisive experiences that shaped him: the death of his mother when he was fourteen, the intimate bond he shared with his sister-in-law Kadambari and his sojourn in England. Through these Kakar uncovers the vital themes in young Rabi’s inner world that shaped his creative genius: his yearning for solitude that was tempered by his fear of loneliness; his preoccupation with spiritual concerns that enabled him to give voice to the sensualist within; and his abiding quest to find a balance between traditional Indian values and Western cosmopolitanism. Kakar’s scrutiny is intense as he pieces together this incredible puzzle, but the rigorous scholarship is finely balanced with deep empathy. In laying bare the inner workings of Tagore’s brilliance, Kakar reveals the real man behind the towering genius.
Psychoanalyst and writer Sudhir Kakar is Adjunct Professor of Leadership at INSEAD, Fontainbleau (France), and Fellow, Centre for Advanced Study, University of Cologne.
He was formerly a Professor at IIM - Ahmedabad, Head of Dept. of Humanities and Social Sciences at IIT-Delhi, Visiting Professor at the universities of Harvard, Chicago, McGill, Melbourne, Vienna, Hawaii, and a Fellow at the Institutes of Advanced Study, Princeton and Berlin.
Sudhir Kakar’s many honours include the Kardiner Award of Columbia University, Boyer Prize of the American Anthropological Association, Germany’s Goethe Medal, Rockefeller Residency, McArthur Fellowship, Bhabha, Nehru and ICSSR National Fellowships of India, Distinguished Service Award of Indo-American Psychiatric Association and the Order of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany, the country’s highest civilian order.
As ‘the psychoanalyst of civilizations’, the French weekly Le Nouvel Observateur listed Kakar as one of the world’s 25 major thinkers while the German weekly Die Zeit portrayed him as one of the 21 important thinkers for the 21st century. Sudhir Kakar is the author of seventeen books of non-fiction and four novels. His books have been translated into twenty-two languages around the world, eleven of them into French. He lives in Goa.
Harish Trivedi is former Professor of English at the University of Delhi, and was Visiting Professor at the universities of Chicago, London and several others in Europe, China and Latin America. He is the author of Colonial Transactions: English Literature and India (Calcutta 1993; Manchester 1995), and has co-edited The Nation across the World: Postcolonial Literary Representations (New Delhi 2007; New York 2008), Literature and Nation: Britain and India 1800-1990 (London 2000), Post-colonial Translation: Theory and Practice (London 1999), and Interrogating Post-colonialism: Theory, Text and Context (Shimla 1996; rpt. 2000, 2006). He has edited with an introduction and notes Hardy’s Tess (Oxford University Press, 1988) and Kipling’s Kim (Penguin Classics 2011). He is currently editing an anthology of Indian Literature from 1500 B.C. to 2000 A.D., and is a coordinator of an international project based in Stockholm for writing a history of world literature. He is the Chairperson of the Indian Association for Commonwealth Literature and Language Studies (since 2005) and Vice-President of the Comparative Literature Association of India (since 2007). He has translated from Hindi into English several works of modern poetry and fiction, as well as a biography: Premchand: His Life and Times (1991) by Amrit Rai. He has published a 40-page ‘Introduction’ to Rabindranath Tagore: Poet and Dramatist by Edward Thompson (rpt. Oxford UP, 1991), an essay on Tagore’s inter/nationalism (1995), and presented papers on Tagore at conferences to mark his 150th birth-centenary (2011) held in New Delhi and in Halle.