“The Last Tram Has Gone”:
The Sense of Belongingness and Transcendental Homelessness in the Literary Works of Jibanananda Das
Keywords:Bengali literature, isolation, migration, home, rootlessness
Jibanananda Das remains one of the major post-Tagore literary personas whose works are still open to interpretation. Torn between nurturing literary aestheticism and the responsibility to be a bread-earner, the complex dichotomy of Das’ life has shaped his writings significantly. The fictional writings also guide towards the complex labyrinth Das himself is. Like a mysterious kaleidoscope, he reflects light in the unexplored regions, and his writings bear the paradox a modern man faces when he is homeless. Likewise, according to György Lukács, the philosophical term “transcendental homelessness” expresses the yearning for a soulful and emotional home that is no longer available in this world. Nonetheless, Das’ oeuvre carries a fervent longing to be at home everywhere, and the yearning to find roots in a time of restlessness has left a permanent mark on his personal life as well. The identity crisis and alienation from society have forced him to continuously search for belongingness in a world full of fragmentation. Das’ alienation and innate desire to belong somewhere in Bengal portray the finest example of transcendental homelessness, which is evident in his collection of poems and stories. This research aims to study the inherent urge of Das to be at home everywhere and the sense of belongingness illustrated in his poems and stories.
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