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Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read. Want to Read saving…. Want to Read Currently Reading Read. Other editions. Enlarge cover. Error rating book. Refresh and try again. Open Preview See a Problem? Details if other :. Thanks for telling us about the problem. Return to Book Page. Translated for the first time into English, Saratchandra's Srikanta was first published over seventy years ago and could perhaps be called the first modern Indian novel Srikanta, the narrator, is an aimless drifter, a passive spectator who cannot survive without the support of an individual stronger than himself.
As a child, he idealizes the chaste Annada Didi—the epitom Translated for the first time into English, Saratchandra's Srikanta was first published over seventy years ago and could perhaps be called the first modern Indian novel As a child, he idealizes the chaste Annada Didi—the epitome of selfless devotion to a worthless husband As a young man he travels to Burma looking for new experiences and meets the rebellious Abhaya—who rejects her violent, bigamous husband to live openly with her lover—and learns to question the hypocritical social norms that bind a woman down but let a man off.
He experiments with becoming a sanyasi, is bewitched for a while by the Vaishnavi, Kamal Lata, and wanders on till his directionless existence finally finds a focus—when he resigns himself to life with the notorious but stunning Pyari Baiji, breaking free of the social values he grew up with. Through his dynamic and arresting characters, Saratchandra brings alive nineteenth-century Bengal, a prejudice-ridden society that needed to be radically changed. Srikanta set the precedent for socially conscious writing in modern Indian literature.
Get A Copy. Paperback , pages. Published October 14th by Penguin Books India first published More Details Original Title. Other Editions Friend Reviews. To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.
I get the feeling that somehow the story is left incomplete. The existing four parts of the book were written between - Sharat babu died in Is it possible that he would have added one more part if he had lived longer? Does the Bengali original of the novel 'Srikant' describe or even suggest sex or sexual relationship or inclination between Srikant and Rajyalakshmi? I have read the telugu translation which does not show any such thing. The Movie version of the novel does show an explicit sex scene between the two which has given rise to my doubt.
Kindly clarify. Lists with This Book. Community Reviews. Showing Average rating 4. Rating details. More filters. Sort order. From Kamal Lata, Abhaya, Rajlakshmi or Pyaari - all these women were how women should be - strong, caring, loving, religious, pious and pure.
They all loved him selflessly and he valued them though he could love them as passionately as they did. When women love someone they give everything - when man loves them he expects everything. He also mentions that how in India society treats its women seprately from the men. How unmarried women tarnish family image and they are sold off for Rs 20 to men 10 times their age as wives. The society just started stagnating and could only get worse unless their is a revolution..
View all 13 comments. Jan 29, Anindita Ray added it. Jul 10, Ashish Chakravarty rated it really liked it. This one lay untouched on my shelves for over 11 years, but finally happy to have read it. Beautiful images of 19th century Bengal through the eyes of the principal narrator, a rather morose and sickly individual with no ambition greater than where his emotions might take him.
Sarat babu's love of flawed and decaying characters are evident throughout; each lovingly created with many layers and hues, such that it is impossible to have any fixed feeling about any of them. A splendid read, and if y This one lay untouched on my shelves for over 11 years, but finally happy to have read it. A splendid read, and if you are provasi Bengali like me, who cannot read it in the original, Aruna Chakravarti's translation captures the cadence of the language well, and feels authentic.
Jan 31, Ritika Gupta rated it liked it Shelves: translations , bengali-authors , pre-independence , india , life , flowery-language , hinduism , history , racial-discrimination , indian-history. Gives a good insight into the mindset of a Brahmin Bengali in the pre-independence era in India. Choosing between rationalism and age-old ritual of caste-ism, where and how does one begin?
And how does the transition happen. The style of writing is decent, but I think this one was lost in translation. I am sure this would have been a 4. Jun 05, Sid rated it it was amazing. This book must be read in Bengali - in my opinion, the greatest Bengali novel ever. Apr 29, Sudipta Saha Niloy rated it really liked it.
A whole ride of human nature and philosophy on our social structure. A bit feministic in some points, but those were really necessary. Some thoughts were out of this world kind of stuff.
Had a harm time getting into the story. It was a must read. With beautiful narratives and descriptions of the Indian landscape and its unique men and women, it is a story about a weak-willed man who dreams of a better world, yet is moved to inaction by his own inertia to do anything about it. Women come and go, moulding him according to their own ideas and he accepts them meekly. That this was written a years back, owing to its surprisingly open discussions on love, sex and the concept of living together beyond the reach of marriage and society, is vey surprising.
What is shocking is the sad fact that it's been years and South Asian society is still in the same abject state. Caste segregation is still as brutal and abuse towards women, in the name of religion, patriarchy and marriage, is just as dominant. It seems our subcontinent's spiral of self-destruction will never cease and Sharatchandra's social documentary of the past still holds true in the modern 21st century.
Jan 17, Anupama Sarkar rated it it was amazing. Sarat Chandra may be more famous for Devdas and Parineeta, courtesy Bollywood. But I was lucky enough to begin my journey into Sarat Da's world with his best work i. The book is voluminous and a heavy read, as Sarat Chandra has a tendency to drift into philosophical meanderings every now and then. And yet, it is one of my most enjoyable, worthy and priced possession. Divided into four parts, the story revolves around a young man from the age of 15 to 30 plus.
Narrative is in first per Sarat Chandra may be more famous for Devdas and Parineeta, courtesy Bollywood. Narrative is in first person and there are glimpses of autobiographical elements. In short, if you are curious about Sarat Da, the man, do begin with this novel.
It will give you a sneak peek into his inner world. May 15, Book Ninja rated it liked it. Srikanta is about an aimless wanderer. He goes wherever life takes him. He meets people from every walk of life. This book tells us about the Hindu religion and how people are judged by their caste. People get jobs based on their castes not on merit. This novel tells us that Indian people, specially people from lower castes, are tired of this system.
It was an interesting book and it gave me a lot of knowledge about the Indian culture, which is an umbrella term for the spectrum of cultures prese Srikanta is about an aimless wanderer.
It was an interesting book and it gave me a lot of knowledge about the Indian culture, which is an umbrella term for the spectrum of cultures present in india. I'm giving it 3. Surely Srikant is one of the greatest book I have ever read.
I am not qualified to write a review of such a great work of literature. I just wish I knew Bangla so that I could read it in its original language.
Saratchandra Chattopadhyay: Literary Giant who is Timeless
By Saratchandra Chatterji. Translated by K. Sen and Theodosia Thompson. With an Introduction by E. His grandfather had been an extremely wealthy man. But he lost everything, so that the novelist's father was poor. In Sarat Babu's own words, 'My childhood and youth were passed in great poverty.
Srikanta (Part 1)
Born on September 15, in Devanandapur, a hamlet located in undivided Bengal during the pre-Independence era, Chattopadhyay was among the five children of Motilal Chattopadhyay and Bhubanmohini. There, he attended the Durga Charan Balak Vidyalay. Chattopadhyay began writing at a tender age. His earliest stories, Korel and Kashinath, which he had penned as a teenager, are still widely read. While in Bhagalpur, he cleared the university entrance examination.
Published in four parts between and ,  It has been described as Sarat Chandra's ' masterpiece '. In a conversation, Sarat Chandra revealed that the book is partly autobiographical, and his own life experiences provided the basis for the experiences of the protagonist Srikanta; however, he added a caveat:. But they do not follow a common course. Fragments of experience, at different times of my life, have been presented as complete experiences Although not a travelogue, the book is described as involving journeys—both physical and spiritual. Spanned in four parts, Srikanta was written over a period of more than sixteen years. The first three parts, except the last three chapters of third part, were serialized in a monthly magazine Bharatbarsha , under the title Srikantar Bhraman Kahini lit.