Thursday, 27 February 2014

Selected Short Stories by Rabindranath Tagore (2.5/5)

First published: ?
Page count: 134

Translated into English by: William Radice

The back says: In 1913, Rabindranath Tagore became the first non-European to win the Nobel Prize in Literature, and he remains one of the most important voices of Bengali culture to this day. These short stories, written mostly in the 1890s, vividly portray Bengali life and culture. Tagore's treatment of caste culture, bureaucracy and poverty paint a vivid portrait of nineteenth-century India, and all are interwoven with Tagore's perceptive eye for detail, strong sense of humanity and deep affinity for the natural world.

I say: The only reason I bought this short story collection was because of my new challenge to read at least one work of all the winner of the Nobel Prize in Literature.

Also, the library only had Swedish translations and I wasn’t in the mood for Swedish.

To say that I was unimpressed would be the most diplomatic way to put it. I didn’t find much interest in the topics the stories introduced; the prose had too many similes and tiresome allegories that inspired many a rolling eye; and the message of the stories were too blunt and obvious.
It was all just meh.

Somehow this collection has left me feeling cheated, of sorts - as if I’ve missed out on something great - so I may buy a collection of his poetry (it’s on sale) or try one of his novels in the future.

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