25 Jul 2015: "Rhapsodies and Musings" launched

Kolkata: July 25, 2015: Rhapsodies and Musings was formally launched today by eminent filmmaker-actor-journalist Sudeshna Roy in STORY, a city bookstore in the southern Kolkata. She has directed eleven films so far. This is a book that is based on literary criticism, and authored by two noted critics-academics-writers Ketaki Datta and Tania Chakravertty. Dr Ketaki is an Associate Professor of English, Bidhannagar College, Kolkata. Dr Tania is an Assistant Professor and currently the Coordinator, post graduate course, Department of English, Shri Shikshayatan College, Calcutta.

In Rhapsodies and Musings the authors have critiqued the works of Sharmila Ray and Kiriti Sengupta, two of the finest Indian English poets based in Kolkata. The book has been published by Hawakaal Publishers and it has been declared a bestselling title in the United States in the genre of Indian Literary Criticism even before the formal release here in Kolkata.

The event spanned more than one hour and was wonderfully moderated by Tanmoy Bhattacharjee, a post-graduate scholar in English literature and a poet from Raiganj. Sudeshna Roy in her keynote address said, “This is a unique book as it involves a team work where two critics have collaborated with two poets. I haven’t seen such a collective effort before and I may write on it sometime. I must appreciate the publisher here.”

Author and critic Ketaki Datta appreciated the works of Sharmila Ray and said, “Ray’s poems leave many a poetry-lover with a sense of fulfilment, an intense desire to live life, an utmost satisfaction of reading. So far as the themes of her poems are concerned, like the metaphysical poets, she has a variety of them; regarding style, she is a matchless craftsman, who can lead a reader straight from the ground we stand upon to the ground realities of life, we often dare not explore so intrepidly.” Datta read a few poems from Ray’s books and refused to name the best poem when asked by the moderator.

While explaining her definite stand on Sengupta’s works Tania Chakravertty said, “If Sengupta were to follow TS Eliot’s dictum that true art should be impersonal, what would that lead to? The clash of opinions still persists – that between the romantic school and the modernist school – Sengupta adheres to the romantic school of thought. It’s the creator's choice and I guess it’s right for him because if he were to turn impersonal, that would take away the essence of his signature poems, the unique subjective and personal elements.”

After thorough discussions by both the critics the concerned poets were requested to read a few poems from their collections. Both Ray and Sengupta mesmerized the audience with their readings and finally the event came to an end.

It needs mention that Rhapsodies and Musings includes an afterthought by the bestselling author Don Martin (USA) who claims, “We need more works like Rhapsodies and Musings so that we English-speakers can enjoy the ethereal, spiritual beauty of Indian English poetry — English-language poetry by the Bengali poets, to be precise!”

For copies:
Hawakaal Prokashona
Registered office
185, Kali Temple Road
Kolkata – 700 049
Cell: 9088029197
Email: hawakaal.pb@gmail.com

(Reported by U Atreya Sarma on July 27, 2015 based on inputs received from Bitan Chakraborty, Founder, Hawakaal Prokashona, Kolkata on July 26)

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