A World in a Dewdrop: The Many Lives of Satyajit Ray, World Cinema's Indian Master

A World in a Dewdrop: The Many Lives of Satyajit Ray, World Cinema's Indian Master

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Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA
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Binding: Hardcover
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India's most celebrated filmmaker in the West, Satyajit Ray has long been admired for his work's revelations of universal truths through the lives and dilemmas of people living in one corner of India. He has been hailed as a master by the likes of Akira Kurosawa and Martin Scorsese and honored with an Oscar for Lifetime Achievement in 1992 - however, few outside India know that filmmaking was just one of Ray's pursuits. A hugely popular writer, designer, lyricist, composer, and children's magazine editor and illustrator, Ray operated virtually as a one-man culture industry in Bengal.

Based on years of archival research, including the private collections of the Ray family, A World in a Dewdrop is the first biography to chart Ray's multiple identities and explore their interconnections, contradictions, and cultural contexts. Author Chandak Sengoopta scrutinizes the whole range of Ray's triumphs and setbacks, the cultural forces that both enhanced and limited his reputation in India and abroad, the social contexts that shaped his character, and the ideological underpinnings of his apparently apolitical art. Sengoopta draws from a vast trove of correspondence; drafts of letters, stories, and articles; outlines of unmade films; and an unpublished and previously unexamined first screenplay of The Home and the World written by Ray in the 1940s, ultimately revealing a portrait of Satyajit Ray that dispels old myths to establish his relevance today, nearly 100 years since his birth.