Rabindranath Tagore and Victoria Ocampo : The Creative Touch [Contributions to Bangladesh Studies]
This is the story of love between a man bom in Calcutta, India in 1861, and a woman bom in Buenos Aires, Argentina in 1890, on the opposite ends of the globe. Rabindranath Tagore was the first non-European awarded the 1913 Nobel Literature Prize. Victoria Ocampo was a beautiful and brilliant lady belonging to a rich and prominent family, interested in reading literary masterpieces in French and Latin in the original in addition to her first language Spanish. In November 1913, she heard that Tagore had won the Nobel Prize and acquired his books in English and French translations. She found in his poems and essays much-needed peace of mind as she was going through thoughts of suicide in a mis-matched marriage. In November 1924, she learnt that Tagore on his way to Peru had fallen seriously ill on the ship and had to break his journey in Buenos Aires. She invited him to stay as her personal guest until his complete recovery. Tagore was deeply touched by her devotion and wrote her a letter expressing appreciation of her loving care. She responded with a beautiful letter. His two-month stay in Argentina gave Tagore his \\\"Second Youth\\\" at age 63 as shown by his elevating conversations and their exchange of beautiful letters that inspired Victoria to cultivate herself to become a good writer. For the next fifty-five years she dedicated her life to writing beautiful books of essays and autobiografias in Spanish and English, establishing the outstanding bilingual journal Sur in Spanish and English, translating a number of major literary works of our time, and creating the International Intellectual Cooperation Centre for UNESCO in her Villa Ocampo. She urged Tagore after seeing his \\\"doodlings\\\" in manuscripts to devote himself to create abstract paintings. From 1925 until his last days he devoted most of his time and energy in creating abstract sketches and paintings. She organized his first art exhibition in Paris in 1930. He remembered her in poems even during the last hours of his life. It is a beautiful story of the creative touch of Rabindranath and Victoria based on primary and authentic secondary sources on their conversations, letters, and relevant writings. It suggests some new directions for building bridges of better understanding and cooperation between the two genders, different generations, as well as different cultures and nations through opening new doors and windows of creativity at individual and societal levels for a better tomorrow for the human family.