History of Bengali literature

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Ancient Age[edit]

Charyapada[edit]

Main article: Charyapada

The first works in Bengali, written in Old Bengali,[1] appeared between 10th and 12th centuries C.E. The collection of these words is generally known as the Charyapada. These are mystic songs composed by various Buddhist seer-poets: Luipada, Kanhapada, Kukkuripada, Chatilpada, Bhusukupada, Kamlipada, Dhendhanpada, Shantipada, Shabarapada etc. The famous Bengali linguist Haraprasad Shastri discovered the palm leaf Charyapada manuscript in the Nepal Royal Court Library in 1907.

Middle Age[edit]

Early Vaishnab Literature[edit]

Shrikrishna Kirtana[edit]

Main article: Shreekrishna Kirtana

A torn manuscript of the Sreekrishna Kirtana Kabya was discovered by Basanta Ranjan Roy Biddyadwallav in 1909 from the house of Debendranath Chatterjee at a village named Kakinla in the district of Bankura, West Bengal. Shreekrishna Kirtana Kabya was composed by Boru Chandidas. While Charyapada shows us the most ancient example of Bengali language, Shreekrishna Kirtana depicts a new kind of speech style very clearly. According to Suniti Kumar Chatterji, "The Grammar of the speech of the Shreekrishna Kirtana gives a clue to many of the forms of New Bengali".

Padavali of Vidyapati[edit]

The padas of Vidyapati—written in an early Bengali dialect that draws from Maithili—deeply influenced the medieval Bengali poets.

Padavali of Chandidas[edit]

There are a large number of Bengali padas related to the love of Radha and Krishna with the bhanita of Chandidas, with three different sobriquetsBaḍu, Dvija, and Dina—along with his name, as well as without any sobriquet. It is not clear whether these bhanitas actually refer to the same person or not.

Early translations from Sanskrit[edit]

Early Mangalkavyas[edit]

Main article: Mangalkavya

The Mangalkavyas were written to popularise the worship of a number of deities, mostly Manasa and Chandi. This genre of Bengali literature includes the majority of works of the medieval Bengali literature. This genre includes the following sub-genres:

Hagiography of Sri Chaitanya[edit]

Chaitanya Bhagavat of Vrindavana Dasa[edit]

The Chaitanya Bhagavata—written by Vrindavana Dasa—is the earliest hagiographical work on the Vaishnava saint Chaitanya Mahaprabhu (1486–1533). Chaitanya is considered by his followers to be an incarnation of Radha and Krishna combined, and is a pivotal figure of the Hindu sect Gaudiya Vaishnavism.

Chaitanya Mangal of Jayananda[edit]

Chaitanya Mangal of Lochan Dasa[edit]

Chaitanya Charitamrita of Krishnadasa Kaviraja[edit]

The Chaitanya Charitamrita is the magnum opus of the Bengali saint/author Krishna Dasa Kaviraja (1496-? CE). The book, a hybrid Bengali and Sanskrit biography, documents the life and precepts of Chaitanya Mahaprabhu.

As a religious text, the Chaitanya Charitamrita is the main theological resource for Gaudiya Vaishnava theology, and is divided into three sections; Adi-lila, Madhya-lila, and Antya-lila.

Later Vaishnab literature[edit]

Later Mangal Kavyas[edit]

Translation of Mahabharata[edit]

Muslim poets of the 17th century[edit]

Works of Raigunakar Bharatchandra[edit]

Shakta Padavali[edit]

Baul Songs[edit]

Early Modern Age[edit]

Essay[edit]

Poetry[edit]

Drama[edit]

Novel/short story[edit]

Modern Age[edit]

Essay[edit]

Poetry[edit]

Drama[edit]

Novel/short story[edit]

Periodicals[edit]

Modern Bangladeshi literature[edit]

The Hungryalist movement[edit]

The Hungryalist movement—better known as Hungry generation—was launched from the Patna residence of Malay Roy Choudhury in November 1961 by Malay, Shakti Chattopadhyay, Samir Roychoudhury, and Haradhon Dhara (alias Debi Roy). Later, around 30 more poets, writers, and painters joined the movement. In view of their anti-establishment writings, some of them were arrested in 1964, and ultimately charges were framed against Malay for his poem Stark Electric Jesus. He was jailed by the lower court, though the High Court exonerated him. The police action resulted into disbanding of the movement in 1965. However, the movement had a lasting effect, inasmuch as the writing trend changed, and subsequently there was a little magazine explosion.

The Prakalpana Movement[edit]

The Prakalpana Movement appears to be the only bilingual avant-garde literary movement ongoing in India for over four decades which has followers worldwide. Marked as the "tiny literary revolution"[3] and inculcated by Vattacharja Chandan,[4] this alternative movement has harboured the mail art and literary works of well-known international writers, such as Richard Kostelanetz, Don Webb, John M. Bennett, Sheila Murphy, and others, as well as their Indian counterparts, such as Vattacharja Chandan, Dilip Gupta, Bablu Roychoudhury, Nikhil Bhaumik, Ramratan Mukhopadhyay, Utpal, Baudhayan Mukhopadhyay, Shyamoli Mukherjee Bhattacharjee, Avijit Ghose, Arun Chakraborty, and Niva De.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Sen, Sukumar (1979) [1960]. History of Bengali (3rd ed.). New Delhi: Sahitya Akademi. p. 24. ISBN 81-7201-107-5. 
  2. ^ http://www.calcuttayellowpages.com/adver/107778.html
  3. ^ Songs of Kobisena by Steve Leblanc, Version 90, PMS Cafe Press, Alston, MS, USA.
  4. ^ http://www.envf.port.ac.uk/illustration/zineopolis/collection/p/prakalpana.htm

Literary movement[edit]