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Calcutta: A Cultural and Literary History

Krishna Datta (Author)
Synopsis Calcutta is the place where the West first truly encountered the East. Founded in the 1690s by East India Company merchants beside the Hoogly River, Calcutta grew into both India’s capital during the Raj and the second city of the British Empire. Named the city of palaces for its grand neo-classical mansions, Calcutta was the city of Clive, Hastings, Macaulay and Curzon. It was also home to extraordinary Bengalis such as Rabindranath Tagore, the first Asian Noble laureate, and Satyajit Ray, among the geniuses of world cinema. Above all, Calcutta (renamed Kolkata in 2001) is a city of extremes, where exquisite refinement rubs shoulders with coarse commercialism and savage political violence. Krishna Dutta explores these multiple paradoxes, giving personal insight into Calcutta’s unique history and modern identity as reflected in its architecture, cinema and music. City of Artists: modern India’s cultural capital; home city of Tagore, Ray and Jamini Roy; College Street and the annual book fair; a city of learning and books. City of Durga and Kali: Kumortuli’s holy images and the flamboyant annual Durga Puja; Kalighat Temple, and Kali, Calcutta’s divine and terrible protectress. City of Palaces: Grand colonial monuments and crumbling mansions of the Bengali babus: a mix of Palladian, Baroque, Rococo, Gothic, Hindu and Islamic architecture.
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About the author

Krishna Datta

Krishna Dutta was born and brought up in Calcutta. She has translated Bengali literature and written several books on Rabindranath.

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Bibliographic information

Title Calcutta: A Cultural and Literary History
Author Krishna Datta
Format Hardcover
Date published: 01.01.2005
Edition Reprint
Publisher Roli Books
Language: English
isbn 8174362606
length xvi+255p., Figures; Maps; Appendix; Index; 23cm.
Subjects History