K. M. Bagchi
Messrs. P. M. Bagchi & Co.
19, Guloo Ostagar's Lane, Calcutta.
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Kishory Mohan Bagchi
India Directory Press,
38/1, Musjidbari Street, Calcutta.
Kapalkundala is unquestionably one of many masterpieces of Bankim Chandra and this fact, I think, will be deemed a sufficient apology for bringing it out in an English garb. Besides the style, perhaps the most perfect in our language, the masterly delineation of human character and sentiment, the beauty of its descriptive passages, the high imaginative colouring and the sombre back-ground lend to this romance a singular place among the fictions of Bengal, if not, of the world. Such a work should be the common property of man. It is, indeed, impossible to transfer the graces of style and diction from one language to another as much of the spirit is lost with the translation. However, the task here imposed upon the translator has been to convey, through the medium of the most wide-spread language in the world, something of the beauties of the original work. The main charm centres in the character of Kapalkundala around whom the whole plot gravitates. Such a character is unique in its creation, perhaps, unparalleled in any literature. She was indeed, a child of nature, as Miranda or Sakuntala was, though she was something different from either. Miranda and Sakuntala knew the ways of the world but she was naturally ignorant of them. The warm passion of love was singularly wanting in her. When she met Nabokumar she felt for him not what Miranda felt for Fardinand or Sakuntala for Dussanto—but she felt for him what a kind-hearted woman feels for a benighted traveller. Even her married life brought no change. Nature gave her the best education—the endless sea, the vast sky, the broad and general air enlarged her heart. She was all sacrifice without the faintest tinge of selfishness in her. The only human training she received was that imparted by the Kapalik and Adhicary and that was complete self-abnegation. Such a flower will grow best by the sea-side in the open air and sun-shine. It must wither when transplanted to the flower-pot of the hot-house of an artificial society with all its formalities and hypocrisies, and so the story ended in a tragedy. The translator is aware of the many imperfections in his work and as it has been hurried through the press, he craves the indulgence of his readers, for any errors that might have crept into it.
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