Majumder, Mohitlal

Mohitlal Majumder

Majumder, Mohitlal (1888-1952) poet, essayist and literary critic, was born on 26 October 1888 in the village of Kanchrapara in Nadia district. Mohitlal started as a poet, but later became better known as a literary critic. He graduated in arts in 1908 from Ripon College (now Vidyasagar College), Kolkata. He began his career as a teacher at Calcutta High School and continued in this profession until 1928. He also worked briefly as a kanungo (1914-1917) in the Survey and Settlement Department. He joined dhaka university as a lecturer of Bangla and Sanskrit Department in 1928 and retired from there in 1944.

Mohitlal Majumder made his literary debut through the journal manasi. Later, he contributed regularly to journals such as the bharati and Shanibarer Chithi. His early poems, written in pleasing rhythms, reflect the aspirations and sorrows of a dreaming youth. Acquainted with Arabic and Persian, he used Arabic and Persian words in his poems. His poems are inspired by both aestheticism and spiritualism.

Mohitlal’s early poems reveal the influence of rabindranath tagore, but later, as a member of the Shanibarer Chithi group, he distanced himself from the style of the older poet. He did not regard Tagore’s poetic works (post-fifty) with much respect and made an effort to replace him with michael madhusudan dutt and bankimchandra chattopadhyay.

As a literary critic, Mohitlal attempted to set standards and reveal the problems of art and literature. His psychological and poet-like approach greatly elevated the status of criticism. In writing critiques he used a number of pseudonyms such as krittivas ojha, Sabyasachi and Sri Satyasundar Das.

Mohitlal was a prolific writer. Among his books are Svapan Pasari (1921), Smargaral (1936), Adhunik Bangla Sahitya (1936), Bangla Kavitar Chhanda (1945), Kavi Shri Madhusudan (1947), Sahitya Bichar (1947), Bangla o Bangali (1951), and Kavi Rabindra o Rabindrakavya (1st Vol. 1952, 2nd Vol. 1953). He also edited bangadarshan for some time. [Bilkis Rahman]