wiki:Kallol Group

Kallol Group

The first literary collective to influence cinema in Bengal was the group around the journal Bharati (Est: 1877). Founded by Dwijendranath Tagore and others as the Tagore clan’s house journal, it published a history of the Bengali cinema in 1923. The journal’s writers Premankur Atorthy, Hemendra Kumar Roy, Narendra Dev and Sourindramohan Mukherjee were the first to write seriously for and about cinema, eventually becoming film-makers. The second group, launched in 1923 by the Bengali journal Kallol, came to be known as the Kallol Group. Its immediate predecessor was the Four Arts Club which published Jharer Dola (1922) with stories by Dinesh Ranjan Das, Gokulchandra Nag, Suniti Devi and Manindralal Basu. Kallol, edited by Dinesh Ranjan Das, was followed by other journals, notably Kalikalam (1926) and Pragati (1927). Collectively they defined a literary realism contextualised by 20s peasant agitations and urban unemployment, self-consciously transgressive of the middle-class norms, e.g. through their interest in popular industrialised fictional forms. In Tagore’s Shesher Kabita (1929) he summarised their critique of his work via the Westernised wastrel Amit Raye, who attacks Tagore for his inability to show the cruel aspects of sexuality, and his limitations in portraying the dispossessed in their true colours (allegations attributed to poet Buddhadev Bose). Malini Bhattacharya wrote (1988) that their ‘ sound and fury [d]id not produce anything like a formal breakthrough leading to a fictional discourse [other than] demanding a greater representation in fiction of problems pertaining to [p]easants, workers and women’. However the movement signified an era that also saw the first Bengali translations of Thomas Mann, Tolstoy, Proust, Romain Rolland, Gorky and Knut Hamsun, and the emergence of writers like Jibanananda Das, Bishnu Dey and Buddhadev Bose. The movement directly touched the cinema when Dinesh Ranjan Das became a film-maker at British Dominion (Kamaner Aagun, 1930) and later at New Theatres (Abasheshe, 1935), followed by writers Premendra Mitra and Sailajananda Mukherjee, first as scenarists and then as successful directors. The realist emphasis in some of their films has been seen as a precedent for IPTA-inspired films in 50s Bengal. The modernist tendency in Kallol’s work was later consolidated by the journals Parichay (1931) and Kavita (1935).


Last modified 5 years ago Last modified on Jul 3, 2013, 8:43:49 AM