Balachandra Rajan (March 24, 1920 – January 23, 2009) was an Indian diplomat and a scholar of poetry and poetics.
Focusing particularly on the poetry of John Milton, Rajan was Professor Emeritus of English at the University of Western Ontario and Rajan was Fellow of Trinity College, Cambridge from 1944–1948, but left England to return to his native India, where he served in the Indian Foreign Service until 1961. During that period he served on the Indian Delegation to the United Nations, working extensively with UNESCO and UNICEF, and chairing an international anti-malaria effort.He served as Chairman of the UNICEF Executive Board from 1955 to 1956. Leaving his diplomatic career to return to academe, Rajan taught at the University of Delhi before emigrating to Canada to take up a position at the University of Western Ontario.
Rajan's scholarly work covered a wide range of English poetry, but returned frequently to Milton and particularly to Milton's Paradise Lost . His work cannot be easily assigned to any critical methodology; he was a scholar of poetics in many forms and from many approaches. His 1947 book Paradise Lost and the Seventeenth Century Reader is primarily a response to Milton's apparent interest in Arianism, considered a heresy, and argues for a distinction between private and public meaning in Milton's poetry. The book was influential for William Empson, particularly Empson's critique of strictly theological readings of Paradise Lost, Milton's God.Later essays explore what Rajan calls "generic multeity" in Paradise Lost.
In addition to his work on Milton, Rajan's later criticism addresses issues of meaning, intention, and context in a broad array of writers including Spenser, Yeats, Marvell, Keats, and Macaulay. Rajan considered 'poetry cannot report the event, it must be the event.'
Rajan also wrote two novels. The Dark Dancer is a sobering study of the conflicts of the Partition;Too Long in the West, on the other hand, is a more light-hearted satire (perhaps influenced by Tagore's Farewell, My Friend) about a girl's return to her home village after an emancipating education in New York.
Rajan's daughter is the scholar and literary theorist Tilottama Rajan, who also teaches at Western.
John Milton was an English poet and intellectual, who served as a civil servant for the Commonwealth of England under its Council of State and later under Oliver Cromwell. He wrote at a time of religious flux and political upheaval, and is best known for his epic poem Paradise Lost (1667), written in blank verse.
Sir William Empson was an English literary critic and poet, widely influential for his practice of closely reading literary works, a practice fundamental to New Criticism. His best-known work is his first, Seven Types of Ambiguity, published in 1930.
Paradise Lost is an epic poem in blank verse by the 17th-century English poet John Milton (1608–1674). The first version, published in 1667, consists of ten books with over ten thousand lines of verse. A second edition followed in 1674, arranged into twelve books with minor revisions throughout. It is considered by critics to be Milton's major work, and it helped solidify his reputation as one of the greatest English poets of his time.
This article focuses on poetry from the United Kingdom written in the English language. The article does not cover poetry from other countries where the English language is spoken, including Southern Ireland after December 1922.
Dame Antonia Susan Duffy, known professionally as A. S. Byatt, is an English novelist, poet and Booker Prize winner. In 2008, The Times newspaper named her on its list of the 50 greatest British writers since 1945.
Paradise Regained is a poem by English poet John Milton, first published in 1671. The volume in which it appeared also contained the poet's closet drama Samson Agonistes. Paradise Regained is connected by name to his earlier and more famous epic poem Paradise Lost, with which it shares similar theological themes; indeed, its title, its use of blank verse, and its progression through Christian history recall the earlier work. However, this effort deals primarily with the temptation of Christ as recounted in the Gospel of Luke.
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Tilottama Rajan is a Canadian scholar and Distinguished University Professor at the University of Western Ontario. She is Canada Research Chair and a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada. Rajan is known for her research on Romantic literature, post-Kantian philosophy and contemporary theory. She is the daughter of Balachandra Rajan.
Arthur Sutherland Pigott Woodhouse (1895–1964) was a Canadian professor of English at the University of Toronto, a leading authority on the works and times of the English Poet John Milton.
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