The Nobel Prize in Literature 1913
Born: 7 May 1861, Calcutta, India
Died: 7 August 1941, Calcutta, India
Residence at the time of the award: India
Prize motivation: “because of his profoundly sensitive, fresh and beautiful verse, by which, with consummate skill, he has made his poetic thought, expressed in his own English words, a part of the literature of the West”
Language: Bengali, English
Prize share: 1/1
Rabindranath Tagore was born in Calcutta. Tagore began to write verse at an early age. After completing studies in England in the late 1870s, he returned to India where he published several books of poetry starting in the 1880s. In 1901, Tagore founded an experimental school in Shantiniketan where he sought to blend the best of Indian and Western traditions. Tagore travelled, lectured, and read his poetry extensively in Europe, the Americas, and East Asia and became a spokesperson for Indian independence from British colonial rule.
Rabindranath Tagore's writing is deeply rooted in both Indian and Western learning traditions. Apart from fiction in the form of poetry, songs, stories, and dramas, it also includes portrayals of common people's lives, literary criticism, philosophy, and social issues. Tagore originally wrote in Bengali, but later reached a broad audience in the West after recasting his poetry in English. In contrast to the frenzied life in the West, his poetry was felt to convey the peace of the soul in harmony with nature.
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