Literature in Bangladesh: Contemporary Bengali Writing Pre-Bangladesh Period edited by Khan Sarwar Murshid ISBN 984 05 1317 6 1996 180pp 215x136mm HB Tk.200.00 US$20.00
The fifteen essays in this volume deal with the literature of the early and middle years of East Pakistan, now Bangladesh. They are an excellent introduction to the literature of the present in as much as they inform, judge and, in addition, provide a context for its study. The work done at the time in the main literary forms is discussed, judiciously, problems are identified, and weaknesses analysed.
Apart from poetry, criticism and drama, the critics in this volume range over subjects like sentimentalism in literature, the treatment of social questions, and sex in fiction. Generous space is given to the consideration of the Bengali language as a vehicle of abstract thought while two of the essays view Bengali literature against European and American perspectives.
It appears clear that the challenge for the writer then was to overcome the effects of a bruising political ideology and the cultural dislocations caused by it and to make the needed transition from a provincial, simple, and limited sensibility to a complex modem consciousness. The story of how the challenge was met is told in a separate volume published simultaneously with this one.
Alauddin Al-Azad Serajul Islam Choudhury Kabir Chowdhury Munier Choudhury Jyotirmay Guhathakurta Abul Husain Syed Sajjad Husain Shamsuddin Abul Kalam Rashid Karim Abu Rushd Matinuddin Nurul Momen Khan Sarwar Murshid Askar Ibne Shaikh Zillur Rahman Siddiqui Hasan Zaman