(Last Updated on : 28/12/2012)
History of Bengali literature
has been divided into three distinct eras - Old Bengali (950-1350), Middle Bengali (1350-1800) and Modern Bengali (1800 to the present day). Ancient Bengali Literature commences with Charyapada which is a collection of poems. It was a manuscript that written in the Alo Andhari Language.
Bengali Literature in Medeival Age
The Middle age Bengali Literature witnessed immense development. It includes Early Vaishnava Literature, Sanskrit Translations, Mangal Kavyas, Chaitanya Mangals, Later Vaishnava Literature, compositions of Muslim poets. The Early Vaishnava Literature includes Shri Krishna Kirtana and Shri Krishna Kabya by Boru Chandidas. Italso includes the Padavali of Chandidas. Padavalis centered on love relationship of Lord Krishna
The early Sanskrit translations included Sri Ram Panchali of Krittibas Ojha and Sri Krishna Vijay by Maladhar Basu. Mangalkavyas were composed to popularise several deities. Medieval Bengali Literature witnessed the composition of Manasamangalkavyas and Chandimangalkavya. There were also several compositions on Chaitanya Mahaprabhu. It includes the Chaitanya Mangal of Jayananda, Chaitanya Mangal of Lochan Dasa and Chaitanya Charitamrita of Krishnadasa Kaviraja.
The later Vaishnava Literature included Padavali of Balaram Dasa, Padavali of Jnandasa and Padavali of Govinda Dasa Kabiraj. Mahabharat Translations by Kabindra Parameswara, Srikar Nandi and Kashiram Das are the products of this age. Shakta Padavali and Baul songs are products of medieval Bengali Literature
Modern Bengali Literature
The nineteenth century literature onwards is referred to as Modern Bengali Literature. Early Modern Age witnessed the literary compositions of several prose writers, novelists, dramatists and Essayists. They include Ishwar Chandra Vidyasagar
, Peary Chand Mitra
, Bankim Chandra Chatterjee
, Rabindranath Tagore
, Michael Madhusudan Dutt
, Kazi Nazrul Islam
, Dinabandhu Mitra
, Saratchandra Chatterjee
, Manik Bandopadhyay
, Syed Mustafa Siraj and several others. The modern age dramatists, essayists, dramatists, poets include Budhhadeb Basu, Annadashankar Roy, Biplab Majee, Jibananada Das
, Sukanta Bhattacharya, Sunil Gangopadhyay
, Malay Roy Choudhury, Krishna Basu, Sanjukta Bandopadhyay, Utpal Dutt
, Shambhu Mitra
, Debashis Majumdar, Atin Bandopadhyay, Samaresh Basu, Jagdish Chandra Bose, Mahasweta Devi
, Nabaneeta Dev Sen, Satyajit Ray
and many more to be mentioned.
Bengali Literature had witnessed several literary movements like the Hungryalist Movement, prakalpana Movement and Little Magazine movement
. The Hungryalist movement
The Hungryalist movement was launched by Malay Roy Choudhury in November 1961. Along with him Shakti Chattopadhyay, Samir Roychoudhury and Debi Roy were the participants of this movement. Thereafter around 30 more poets, writers and painters joined this movement. The movement had a lasting effect as the writing style had changed.
Several changes took place in the Bengali Literature centering the Little Magazine Movement in the 1970s and Kaurab which is a literary & cultural magazine was the hub. The major figures of Kaurab are Swadesh Sen, Kamal Chakraborty, Barin Ghosal, Shankar Lahiri, Shankar Chakraborty,Pranabkumar Chattopadhyay and Aryanil Mukhopadhyay. Bengali Literature also witnessed a new genre of Bengali poetry since the mid eighties. From the early 90's it began to gain praise from young contemporary poets of Bengal.
The Prakalpana Movement of Kolkata
came about on September 6, 1969, by Bhattacharja Chandan with the help of Dilip Gupta and Asish Deb. Swatotsar was the journal of the movement that had unorthodox content. The magazine was to be read from back to front. It was against the roots of conventionalism.