I’ve just been reading this review by George Lukács of Rabindranath Tagore’s The Home and the World (1916) this week. Tagore, winner of the 1913 Nobel Prize for Literature, is considered the father of Bengali literature, not to mention a foundational influence on Bengali nationalism from the late nineteenth century onwards. For better or worse, he defined what ‘culture’ came to mean during the period of anti-colonialism. For this reason, Lukács’s damning review is of great interest. It’s not just that he misunderstood the themes of The Home and the World (or “Ghaire-Baire” in Bengali) but those misunderstandings in themselves fundamentally reveal much about European attitudes towards Indian literary forms and Marxist attitudes towards the intellectual leaders of Indian nationalism. The review is particularly striking given how intimate the relationship between European socialism and Marxism, and Indian nationalism proved to be in the twentieth century.
The above image of the Hungarian Parliament building was taken last summer and has been edited using Gimp. I think this one of Edinburgh worked out a little better.