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BANKIM CHANDRA CHATTERJEE

 
Bankim Chandra Chatterjee (1838-94) belonged to an orthodox family and was educated at the Hoogly College. He brought in imagination, informality and intimacy in Bengali fiction and created his own style of writing. He began his literary career as a poet but quickly diverted to fiction. His first fiction was Rajmohan's Wife written in English. Durgeshnandini, his first Bengali romance, was published in 1865. The next novel Kapalkundala (1866) is one of the best romances written by Chatterjee. He also wrote Mrinalini (1869), Visavrksa (1873), Chandrasekhar (1877), Rajani (1877), Krishnakanter Uil (1878), Rajsimha (1881), Anandamath (1882), Devi Caudhurani (1884) and Sitaram (1886). Anandamath interpreted and illustrated the gospel of patriotism and gave Bengal the song "Bande Mataram" which later became the National Song. He brought out the monthly Bangaldarshan in 1872 with a view to stimulate the intellect of the Bengali-speaking people through literary campaign. His writings including novels, stories, humorous sketches, historical and miscellaneous essays, informative articles, religious discourses, literary criticisms and reviews were published in this magazine. Bankim Chatterjee's novels have been translated in almost all the major languages of India and have helped in simulating literary impulses in those languages. After the novels, the humorous sketches are the outstanding productions of Chatterjee. Bankim Chandra Chatterjee was also a good essayist, and his best essays are collected in Kamalakanta (1885). His Krishna-charita (1882) and Dharmatattva (1888) are masterpieces on religious subjects.
 

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