[Reader-list] first posting

sandipan chakrabarty sandipan_chakrabarty at yahoo.co.in
Sat Jan 24 22:44:24 IST 2004

Relocating ‘Krttibas’ (1953-2003): A Critical Study of
the History of A ‘Little’ Magazine in Urban Bengal  

              By Sandipan Chakrabarty

    The main object is to study of the cultural and
economic history of a renowned Bengali literary little
magazine (Krttibas) of the post-independence period
and its impact on the construction of urban Bengali
self in post-independence Bengal. The project shall
document and analyze various facets of its publication
and circulation.  Areas to be explored shall include
cover designs, interviews of editors, regular writers
and readers, the advertisements published. 
   ‘Krittibas’ first appeared in 1953 under the
editorship of Sunil Gangopadhyay, Dipak Mazumdar and
Ananda Bagchi. Afterwards, Sunil Gangopadhyay alone
took over the responsibility of editing from its
4th-5th joint issue.  Then Sakti Chattopadhyay, Sarat
Kumar Mukhopadhyay , Utpal Kumar Basu , Samarendra
Sengupta and others acted as interim editors at
different times for short periods. But from the very
inception till date, mainly Sunil Gangopadhyay has
been acting as the editor. It is basically a quarterly
poetry magazine; but many important articles on
literature, film, theatre and other cultural debates,
stories, novels, plays and interviews also appeared in
it and gradually it assumed an anti-establishment
character. From1970 onward, it began to lose its 
anti-establishment character and started becoming an
establishment itself. It was converted to a monthly
magazine in 1974 and continued till 1981. From 
1982-1998, no issue of the magazine was published.
>From 1999 it again appeared as an annual magazine. 
   Before 1967, there were a few little magazines in
Bengal and those were an exclusive part of urban
culture with a marginal existence. From the marginal
situation, such magazines created and activated a
parallel space outside the commercial / mainstream
space and created a group of devoted readers. This
gave rise to a little magazine boom in 1970’s, when
many little magazines started to come out from
semi-urban areas also. In this way the
decentralization of the urban cultural space spread.
In post-independence period, most of the creative
writers of Bengal primarily became famous in public
domain through these little magazines and especially
most of the renowned Bengali poets of 1950’s and
1960’s were the product of ‘Krittibas’.  This magazine
formed an interactive and interdisciplinary space
among the creative writers and painters ; those
painters often designed its cover. Sometimes this
parallel space even strongly induced the commercial /
mainstream space. So a gradual change in the total
structure of the urban culture took place. The aim of
the project is to analyze this structural change and
the role of ‘Krittibas’ behind it.   

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