19 Aug 2017: “Tragic Survivals…” by Pradipta Mukherjee & Debasish Lahiri

Return of the Tragic Muse


Tragic Survivals: From the Hellenic to the Postmodern (Authors Press, New Delhi), co-authored by Pradipta Mukherjee and Debasish Lahiri, was launched at Kolkata’s Jamini Roy Gallery, Indian Council for Cultural Relations, on the 12th of August. The Director of the ICCR, Mr. Gautam De was the Guest of Honour at the event.


The book traces, in 27 essays, how Tragedy has problematized the negotiation of individual human freedom and dignity under various operations of state/political power.


The formal launch was a luminous moment with six distinguished panelists joining the Director and the authors on stage. Next it was the turn of the distinguished panel of speakers to become the cynosure of all eyes.


Amitava Roy, formerly Shakespeare Professor of English at Rabindra Bharati University; Ananda Lal, Professor of English at Jadavpore University; Sanjukta Dasgupta, Professor of English at the University of Calcutta; Anjum Katyal, Co-Director of the Apeejay Kolkata Literary Festival; Niladri R Chatterjee, Professor of English at the University of Kalyani; and Pinaki De, Associate Professor of English at Raja Peary Mohan College - made up this cast of eminent speakers.


Niladri Chatterjee marshalled this august panel expertly as the anchor. There are as many readings of tragedy as there are readers, opined Prof Roy.


Prof Dasgupta meticulously read out passages from the book as evidence in support of her praise for the book’s range of thought and the beauty and clarity of its language.


Prof Lal and Madame Katyal were of the opinion that the book would be a valuable and essential resource to anybody in the field of literary study, whether student, researcher or faculty member.


De, who has also crafted the brilliant cover of Tragic Survivals spoke of tragedy as a missed mnemonic encounter. He accentuated the ease with which the book’s scholarship reaches its readers thus extending its scope.


Mukherjee and Lahiri shared anecdotes at the end of the evening about how this major publication took shape through long hours of planning, disagreements, reassessments and mutual rapprochements, adding to the warmth and wit of the evening.

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