Right here we reward a person of information, mischief and kindness. These three qualities had been intertwined so deeply in Swapan Kumar Chakravorty, that as instructor of English literature at Jadavpur University, Kolkata – and in varied levels of his all-too-short lifetime of 67, at Presidency University, and as chairperson, Centre for Research of Social Sciences – he can be bought ridiculously quick if described as ‘simply’ one of many best students of the European Renaissance. He was as a lot a person of concepts as one of many world, being Nationwide Library director, the digitisation of which he oversaw, and curator of Victoria Memorial, bringing its treasures out of the attic to the general public eye.

Chakravorty, an mental bilingual not simply in Bengali and English, but additionally in excessive and standard tradition, made profound connections in his readings of texts, tastes and applied sciences. He contaminated college students and friends with incurable knowledgitis: the sheer pleasure of realizing. In a 2016 essay on his beloved Christopher Marlowe‘s c. 1592 English play, Physician Faustus, and Bharata’s 2nd c BC-2nd c AD Sanskrit treatise on performing arts, Natyasastra, he wrote of ‘a second of determination after a dispute within the thoughts’ – a course of Renaissance rhetoricians known as ‘addubitation’. In his celebration of information, ‘Swapanda’ epitomised this ‘verbal chain that entails doubt, together with self-doubt, and its decision’. His passing leaves the world a bit much less sensible, and rather a lot much less enthusiastic about pursuing knowledge with the joys of a boy.



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