My Reminiscences(Paperback Edition)
by Devabrata Mukherjee (Translator) by Rabindranath Tagore
It is not possible to surmise when exactly Tagore started writing Jibonsmriti(My Reminiscences). It is generally believed that after the publication of the play Raja (King, 1910), he was going through the first draft of Jibonsmriti.
Jibonsmriti, was translated into English by Tagore’s nephew, Surendranath Tagore, though retouched and slightly changed by Rabindranath himself. It was serialised in RamanandaChattopadhyay’s The Modern Review under the title My Reminiscences from January to December, 1916. To thwart the attempt by any foreign publisher to publish it, all the issues of The Modern Review carried the declaration, ‘All Rights Reserved. Copyrighted in the United States of America’. Interestingly, Rabindranath himself advised Ramananda Chattopadhyay to mail one copy each of the issues of The Modern Review carrying My Reminiscences to W. B. Yeats and Ernest Rhys. In April, 1917, it was published as a book by MacMillan, New York, with a colour portrait by Sasi Kumar Hesh as the frontispiece, apart from 12 paintings by GagnendranathTagore.
This book Rabindranath has etched in words many of his primary experiences about his future poetry, plays and novels. A surging passion for being one with Nature, a sense of imagination-filled solitariness even in the midst of a crowd, a consciousness of the concrete and yet non-recognition of its weight—all these aspects of the book inform his later creations. In that sense, My Reminiscences can be called an introduction to the entire Tagorean canon.