Tuesday, August 29, 2006

The Plays of Sri Aurobindo

PERSEUS THE DELIVERER was originally published in serial form in the weekly Bande Mataram, Calcutta, 1907. Subsequently it was included in Collected Poems and Plays of Sri Aurobindo, published in 1942, with the exception of two scenes which were not available at that time. The missing scenes (Act II, Scenes 2 & 3) were later found and included in the 1955 edition.
VASAVADUTTA exists in several versions, not all of them complete. What seems to be the last complete version has this note at the end: "Revised and recopied between April 8th and April 17th, 1916." An earlier version has a similar entry at the end: "Copied Nov. 2, 1915—written between 18th and 30th October 1915. Completed 30th October. Revised in April 1916. Pondicherry." The first edition of VASAVADUTTA was published in 1957. It was reprinted in 1965.
RODOGUNE belongs to the end of the Baroda period. It is dated February 1906, just before Sri Aurobindo left Baroda for Bengal. It was first published in Sri Aurobindo Mandir Annual, 1958, and also issued in book-form in the same year.
ERIC was written in Pondicherry in 1912 or 1913. Several drafts were made of some of its acts and each carries its own later corrections. One is not always sure which corrections were the last to be made. The text published now is more or less a combination of two or more drafts wherever it was thought that the author's purposes would be served better by this arrangement. Alternatives, however, have been given in the footnotes. ERIC was first published in Sri Aurobindo Mandir Annual, 1960, and also issued in book-form in the same year.
The VIZIERS OF BASSORA is one of the early works of Sri Aurobindo on a major scale. Written in Baroda, it has a curioushistory attached to it. Sri Aurobindo seems to have had especial fondness for this early creation of his. He particularly mentioned it in the Introduction to Collected Poems and Plays as one of the two works, lost—the other being a translation of Kalidasa's Meghaduta (Cloud-Messenger). By a strange turn of destiny the drama was recovered from theGovernment Archives in 1951 along with other manuscripts which had been exhibits in the Alipore Conspiracy Case. This play was published in Sri Aurobindo Mandir Annual, 1959, and also issued in book-form in the same year.
PRINCE OF EDUR was written, as noted in the manuscript, in1907, that is to say, in the very thick of Sri Aurobindo's political activity. It is not complete as it has only three acts and not five. THE PRINCE OF MATHURA, available as a fragment and printedhere for the first time, is a different version of the same theme. PRINCE OF EDUR was first published in Sri Aurobindo MandirAnnual, 1961.
THE MAID IN THE MILL and THE HOUSE OP BRUT are both in-complete and belong to Sri Aurobindo's early Baroda period. They were printed in Sri Aurobindo Mandir Annual, 1962, for the first time.

No comments:

Post a Comment