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Gitanjali special edition for foreign offices

delhi Updated: Jan 05, 2012 02:10 IST
Saubhadra Chatterji
Saubhadra Chatterji
Hindustan Times
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Almost 100 years after it was penned, Rabindranath Tagore’s Gitanjali will once again come alive in a new avatar. This new year, the central government is coming out.

with a special edition of Gitanjali — book that won Tagore the Nobel Prize for literature in 1913. The special edition will be sent to Indian embassies and foreign dignitaries.

The culture ministry will print a facsimile edition of the original notebook, in which Tagore wrote the poems. The original notebook is with the Harvard University.

According to a note circulated to key ministries the culture ministry has done “a high resolution scan of the original hand-written diary on which Tagore composed the English translations of his poems for the Gitanjali”.

The facsimile copy is expected to be “as near to the original as possible”.

To retain the authenticity of Tagore’s manuscript, the new edition will not have any foreword or additional material. The ministry will add only a small note at the end of the book to explain the process behind creation of the edition.

But Tagore-lovers will not be able to buy a copy of this edition from the market. The Harvard University has not given away the right of selling it to the Indian government. The government will distribute these books to prominent libraries across the world.

The culture ministry note says the special edition — as part of celebrations of Tagore’s 150th birth anniversary — will be ready by January or early February. Tagore’s original notebook is at Harvard University.

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