At the time Tagore was writing, traditional Indian literature was seen (as it still is sometimes) to be almost indistinguishable from mythology and religion; Tagore himself, although his own poetry and imagination were radically secular, was translated as a public figure into the realm of mythology and mysticism, partly because of this reason, and partly through his own connivance. Yet the nature of his engagement with Kalidasa tells us of a very different concern, a different agenda, which also brings him much closer to the modernist preoccupation (prevalent in Europe at the time) with exactness, concreteness, and sensory perception than one would ordinarily think. [...]
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