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In accordance with our meta agreement to have topic challenges and a later meta agreement to have topic challenges lasting for two months and overlapping by one month, it is time to announce the October–November 2020 topic challenge.

Based on the number of votes (5 upvotes, one downvote), the ninth topic challenge of the year 2020 will be

the works of Rabindranath Tagore


What's a topic challenge?

See the meta posts linked above, and also this main meta post. In short, during October and November 2020 you are invited to try to read at least one work by the Bengali polymath Rabindranath Tagore and ask questions about it.

Participation is not obligatory in any sense, and questions on other works are more than welcome during October and November too; they just won't count as part of this topic challenge.

How can I take part?

By getting hold of the one or more works by Rabindranath Tagore and asking good questions about it (or them). Questions about these works should be tagged with and either the work's title (for book-length works) or (for short stories, as the name implies). We'll keep a list of all such questions in an answer to this meta post.

Below is Peter Shor's presentation:

I would like to suggest Rabindranath Tagore (1861—1941), an important Bengali writer who wrote poems, short stories, and novels.

This is in part a response to the suggestion of Munshi Premchand (1880—1936), a Hindi writer whose works seem quite difficult to get in English. I expect that choosing Premchand for a challenge would fail for the same reason some of the challenges before the reboot did: the author is too obscure and people will not be able to find his books.

Tagore is an Indian writer from roughly the same period. However, his work appears to be much more available in English: many of his poems can be found on the internet, and several of his plays and short story collections, and his novel The Home and the World are available from Project Gutenberg. Other novels of his have also been translated, although I don't know whether they are available online.

Further information thanks to user37920:

  • Tagore received the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1913 for his poems and collections of poetry, largely Gitanjali / Song Offerings.
  • The national anthem of India, "Jana Gana Mana", was originally composed as "Bharoto Bhagyo Bidhata" in Bengali by Rabindranath Tagore.

See also:

What's next?

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List of all questions posted in this topic challenge

  1. Why does the narrator in Tagore's story call the Cabuliwallah's daughter "Parbati"? by verbose, 05/10/2020 (self-answered on the same day).
  2. Who is Tagore's "Cruel Kindness" addressed to? by Mithical, 05/10/2020.
  3. Why was the narrator left alone on the shore in Tagore's "Sonar Tari"? by user37920, 05/10/2020.
  4. What does "raised waves in my mind" mean in Tagore's "At the End of the Day"? by Mithical, 06/10/2020.
  5. Why do the prayers stop in Tagore's "A Dream"? by Mithical, 07/10/2020.
  6. In Tagore's "Along the Way", who is the entity that the "your touch" is referring to? by Mithical, 08/10/2020.
  7. Is Rabindranth Tagore talking about the actual wave nature of light here in Gitanjali? by Knight, 22/10/2020.

x. add entries in the form https://literature.stackexchange.com/questions/<question-ID> by [username](https://literature.stackexchange.com/users/<user-ID>), dd/mm/2020.


The highest-voted of these is [question URL], with a score of TBD at the end of November.

The most viewed is [question URL], with approximately TBD views during the months of October and November.

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