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Year: 2000


142 pp

About the Book

The book is an evaluation of the creativity and ideology of Akhtaruzzaman Elias, a brilliant novelist and short story wirter of Bangladesh. Elias died at the unripe age of 54 (1943-97) and wrote only two novels Chilekothar Sepai (Sentry of the Attic) and Khowabnama (Drean-Elegy). But these two texts and his short stories, not many in number, have turned him into an icon, remembered and revered. The Author examines Elias’s poetry, short stories, two novels and his cosmovision and then analyses the varied responses of the readers of Bangladesh. Here, aesthetic judgement is refracted through the prism of ideology. In fact, by applying the theories of the neoMarxians and post moderns (Theodor Adorno, Frederic Jameson, Jacques Derrida and others) to the creative texts of Elias, he demonstrates how theory and praxis come to be interwoven is a comparatist’s discourse. This is the first evaluation of Elias written in English, an author whom illustrious writers like Mahasveta Devi and Hasan Azizul Haque regard as a wonder. Based on a sensitive and meticulous deconstruction of Elias’s texts, it should encourage readers to proceed to the texts themselves. The Appendices reveal the personality of Elias, and the comprehensive Bibliography will help researchers interested in Elias, modern literary theory and sociology of literature.

About Author

Subhoranjan Dasgupta was born in Calcutta in 1949. He was a student of English Literature at Presidency College (Calcutta) and Calcutta University. After receiving his MA Degree he joined the Ananda Bazar Patrika Group as a journalist. In 1975 he went to Cologne (Germany) to work as Editor for the Voice of Germany and thereafter he lived for six years in Heidelberg. Germany’s famous university-town, and obtained his Ph.D.Degree. His area of research was Marxian Aesthetics and Sociology of Literature. He rejoined Ananda Bazar Patrika in 1984 and soon established himself as a leading critic and analyst of culture and politics. In 1997 he joined the Maulana Abul Kalam Azad Institute of Asian Studies as Visiting Fellow. At present he is a Senior Visiting Fellow of the School of Women’s Studies (Jadavpur University).


Preface Glossary. Gateway of Elegy : Poem Defiance in Fragments : Short Stories. Revolt in Grief: Chilekothat Sepai. Dirge on Partition: Khowabnama. Commitment as Lament : Elias' Worldview.An Icon not too High: Reader's and Publishers Response. Appendices. Three Letters by Akhtaruzzaman Elias. Suraiya Elias recalls her Husband. Mahasveta Debi's Tribute. Hasan Azizul Haq's Homeage

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