(Last Updated on : 11/02/2014)
Bengali authors reflected the contemporary social lifestyle in their compositions. They also touched upon religious and patriotic themes. Bengali literature
can be divided into four stages: ancient, medieval, modern and contemporary. Ancient Bengali
literature began with Charyapada
that is a collection of mystical poems from the Tantric tradition.
Ancient Bengali Authors
Bengali authors have enriched Bengali literature ever since ancient ages, when a series of mystical poem-songs of Vajrayana Buddhist
'caryagiti' (belonging to the 8th to 12th century) used to be written and sung, derived from the 'tantric' tradition in Kalinga
. Known as 'Charyapada', these comprised some of the most ancient verses translated in various languages
including Bengali. Authors like Luipa, Aryadev, Dombipa, Bhusukupa, Sarhapa, Shabarpa, Kahnapa, Minapa, Dhendhanpa and Kukkuripa thrived during the 9th century.
Medieval Bengali Authors
Medieval India witnessed the rise of several Bengali authors whose literary creations continue to inspire generations. The author of 'Chaitanya Charitamrita', a biography on the life of Chaitanya
Mahaprabhu, the famous mystic Indian saint
was composed by Krishna Dasa Kaviraj Goswami
who was born during 1496 CE. Other works by him are 'Saranga-rangada kangada tika', a commentary of Krishna
-Karnamrita and 'Govinda-lilamrita', an account of the lifestyle of Lord Krishna and his associates in the region of 'Vrindavana'.
Syed Sultan, a Bengali writer and poet
is renowned for his work 'Nabibangsha', a grand epic
related to the 20 Prophets including Adam, Jesus
, Moses and Muhammad
. 'Gyan Choutisha', 'Sobemeraj', 'Iblish Nama', 'Gyaan Prodeep', etc. are some of the other works by him. Born in 1751 CE, Ramram Basu was a well-known translator and scholar of Bengali language who is recognised for creating the first Bengali prose. His textbook 'Raja Pratapaditya-Charit' or 'Life of Maharaja Pratapaditya' was published in 1802. He had also translated the Mahabharata
Modern Bengali Authors
India has produced innumerable modern Bengali authors of the 19th and 20th century who have been nationally and internationally acclaimed for their great contribution to the field of Bengali literature and include personalities like Peary Chand Mitra
, Ishwar Chandra Vidyasagar
, Girish Chandra Ghosh
, Madhusudan Dutt
, Rabindranath Tagore
, Bankim Chandra Chattopadhyay
, Rajshekhar Basu
, Tarasankar Bandopadhyay
, Jibanananda Das
, Ashapoorna Devi
, Satyajit Ray
, Nabaneeta Dev Sen
and many others.
Ishwar Chandra Vidyasagar was a crucial figure of Bengal renaissance
and was credited for numerous works which comprised books like 'Shakuntala
', 'Jeebancharit', 'Betaal Panchabinsati', 'Bodhadoy', 'Banagala-r Itihaas', 'Bidhaba Bibaha Bishayak Prostab' and also for reconstruction of the Bengali alphabet in a book called 'Bornoporichoy'. Bankim Chandra's 'Durgeshnandini
', 'Anandamath', 'Krishna Charitra', etc., short stories like 'Chamatkumari Ityadi Galpa', 'Hanumaner Svapna Ityadi Galpa', 'Gaddalika' and translations of Rajshekhar Basu are some of the reputed Bengali works. Rabindranath Tagore, the noted Bengali playwright, songwriter, novelist, poet, and essayist is an evergreen Bengali author, famous for his collection of 2230 songs called 'Gitanjali
' and his numerable short stories and others. Receiver of several accolades like 'Jnanpith Award
1976', 'Padma Shri
' in 1976, 'Deshikottama' in 1989 and others, Ashapoorna Devi's stories are popular even till present day, thanks to her socially relevant themes.
Contemporary Bengali Authors
Contemporary Bengali authors are significant literary personas in the sphere of modern Bengali literature, who have enriched this field to a great extent. Samir Roychoudhury
, Malay Roy Choudhury
, Suchitra Bhattacharya, Subodh Sarkar, Mallika Sengupta
, Nabarun Bhattacharya and numerous others are some of the Bengali authors, writers and novelists who have carved a niche for themselves in Bengali literature. Most of them have been appreciated with awards and accolades at national levels. Subodh Sarkar's travelogue 'Deshta America', Nabarun Bhattacharya's 'Herbert', 'Raater Circus', 'Mahajaaner Aayna', 'Ei Mrityu Upotyoka Aamaar Desh Na', 'Lubdhak', Suchitra Bhattacharya's 'Kacher Dewal', 'Hemonter Pakhi', 'Kachher Manush', 'Dahan', 'Chhera Taar', 'Aami Raikishori', 'Rangin Prithibi', 'Uro Megh', etc. are amongst the most noted contemporary Bengali literary works.