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These Reminiscences were written and published by the Author in his fiftieth year, shortly before he started on a trip to Europe and America for his failing health in 1912. It was in the course of this trip that he wrote for the first time in the English language for publication. In these memory pictures, so lightly, even casually presented by the author there is, nevertheless, revealed a connected history of his inner life together with that of the varying literary forms in which his growing self found successive expression, up to the point at which both his soul and poetry attained maturity.
This lightness of manner and importance of matter form a combination the translation of which into a different language is naturally a matter of considerable difficulty. It was, in any case, a task which the present Translator, not being an original writer in the English language, would hardly have ventured to undertake, had there not been other considerations. The translator's familiarity, however, with the persons, scenes, and events herein depicted made it a temptation difficult for him to resist, as well as a responsibility which he did not care to leave to others not possessing these advantages, and therefore more liable to miss a point, or give a wrong impression.The Translator, moreover, had the author's permission and advice to make a free translation, a portion of which was completed and approved by the latter before he left India on his recent tour to Japan and America.
Rabindranath Tagore (1861-1941), also known by the sobriquet Gurudev, was a Bengali poet, Brahmo Samaj philosopher, visual artist, playwright, novelist, and composer whose works reshaped Bengali literature and music in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. A cultural icon of Bengal and India, he became Asia's first Nobel laureate when he won the 1913 Nobel Prize in Literature. A Pirali Bengali Brahmin from Calcutta, Tagore first wrote poems at age eight. He published his first substantial poetry under the pseudonym Bhanushingho (Sun Lion). Tagore's works included numerous novels, short-stories, collection of songs, dance-drama, political and personal essays. Some prominent examples are Gora (Fair-Faced) (1910), Gitanjali (Song Offerings) (1912), and Ghare-Baire (The Home and the World) (1919). His verse, short stories, and novels-many defined by rhythmic lyricism, colloquial language, meditative naturalism, and philosophical contemplation-received worldwide acclaim. His other works include The King of the Dark Chamber (1914), The Gardener (1915), Songs of Kabir (1915), Fruit-Gathering (1916), Stray Birds (1916), The Hungry Stones and Other Stories (1916) and Glimpses of Bengal (1920).