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Artefacts of WritingIdeas of the State and Communities of Letters from Matthew Arnold to Xu Bing$
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Peter D. McDonald

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780198725152

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2017

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780198725152.001.0001

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Notes towards a Vagabond Humanism

Notes towards a Vagabond Humanism

Mphahlele’s Tagore/ Rabindranath’s Bāuls

Chapter:
(p.173) 4 Notes towards a Vagabond Humanism
Source:
Artefacts of Writing
Author(s):

Peter D. McDonald

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/oso/9780198725152.003.0006

Seen in the context of UNESCO’s long-running debates about the concept of humanism, this chapter considers the importance Tagore had for the South African writer Es’kia Mphahlele. It focuses on the way he influenced Mphahlele’s internationalism and his commitment to ‘Afrikan Humanism’ as a way of reconciling the particular and the universal. Following this lead, the chapter goes on to consider the impact the Bāul singers of Bengal had on Tagore’s own humanism and the bearing this complex network of inheritances and connections has on the way UNESCO understands interculturality.

Keywords:   Tagore Mphahlele, Bāul singers of Bengal, orality, humanism, interculturality, translation, African internationalism, Voice of Africa

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