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Mystic Modernity


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Table of Contents

Introduction: ‘where poetry and religion are the same thing’

1. The Formation of Tagore’s Mystic-Modern Consciousness

2. ‘Deathless feet’: Mystical Poetics of Early Yeats

3. The Spiritual Evolution of Humans in Tagore

4. ‘Artifice of Eternity’: Yeats’s Antithetical Vision


About the Author

Ashim Dutta, M.A. (Dhaka), M.A. (Montclair), Ph.D. (York, UK), is an Associate Professor of English at the University of Dhaka. He has published essays in Bengali and English in such scholarly journals as The Journal of Commonwealth Literature, International Yeats Studies, Gitanjali and Beyond, and Bangla Academy Patrika (Dhaka).


"Mystic Modernity: Tagore and Yeats is a brilliant account of the relationship between the two poets, written by a scholar expert in both Bengali and Irish literary traditions. With careful attention to biographical as well as poetic sources, Dutta analyzes a friendship grounded in spiritual interests outside the conventions of modernism."Lucy McDiarmid, Marie Frazee-Baldassarre Professor of English, Montclair State University"Ashim Dutta’s book is long overdue, for the affinities between Tagore and Yeats that brought them together needed to be contextualized from a perspective considering contemporary mystical modes and transnational exchanges. Based on extensive research and sustained analysis, Dutta’s work offers new insights into the transcontinental cross-currents stimulating creative minds in the early modern era."Fakrul Alam, UGC Professor, Department of English, University of Dhaka "Dutta’s book recreates the Tagore and Yeats relationship in wholly original terms, offering an account of two poets who engaged very closely in a shared poetical project of mystical modernism. Dutta insists that we take their heterodox spiritual beliefs very seriously indeed, as both a complement and a challenge to conventional politicised readings."Matthew Campbell, Professor of Modern Literature, University of York"Bypassing narratives that force readers to choose between secular/modern or mystical/spiritual readings of W. B. Yeats and Rabindranath Tagore, Ashim Dutta expertly insists on both. Dutta’s deeply informed study, a model for bilingual and transcultural research, shows that the syncretic and eclectic mysticism of both writers is intrinsically modern, and equally that their distinct modernities are inextricably mystical. Dutta’s sensitive readings of writers who famously admired and misunderstood each other leads to precise re-calibrations of each. This is a brilliant study, strikingly original and utterly convincing."Margaret Mills Harper, University of Limerick

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