First publication page
Title Shanibarer Chithi
Document Type Journal
Language Bengali
Publisher Name Shaniranjan Press, Sri Sourindranath Das
Publisher Region Calcutta


Shanibarer Chithi was one of the most notable Bengali literary journals of late colonial Bengal. Started in 1336 B.S. (1929), the journal was representative of the high standards that Bengali literature had attained by the early twentieth century. It was edited by Sajani Kanta Das from its 11th issue. Das, one of the most noted critics of the time, was often scathing in his critiques and at times crossed the accepted limits of decency in his writings. The journal published novels, poems, stories and plays along with essays, commentaries, historical notes, biographical accounts, and book reviews. The only regular section in the journal was entitled ‘Sanbad Sahitya’ (Information on Literature).

One of the key attractions of the journal was its regular articles on the literary and intellectual contributions of Rabindranath Tagore from different perspectives. After Tagore’s death, Sajani Kanta Das himself edited a special issue of Shanibarer Chithi on Rabindranath with some of his unpublished letters written to Das, and the contributions shed new light on Tagore’s literary career and intellectual life. On the other hand, Sajani Kanta wrote several aggressive critiques of the famous poet Jibananda Das’ work in the review pages of Shanibarer Chithi. The journal also fell into a sort of literary feud with the popular literary movement of the time, Kallol, represented by writers such as Premendra Mitra, Najrul Islam and Buddhadeb Basu. At the same time, the journal brought into prominence a number of authors including Bibhuti Bhushan Bandyopadhyay, Tarasankar Bandyopadhyay, Banaphul, Premankur Atarthi, and Pramathanath Bishi.

The journal carried non-fiction articles on a wide variety of themes. Mention may be made of Sajani Kanta Das’ ‘Bharatbarsher Rabindranath’ (Rabindranath of India); Nanimadhav Chaudhury’s ‘Sri Radhar Avatar’ (Incarnation of Sri Radha); Sunil Kumar Pal’s ‘Swadhinota o Sanskriti’ (Freedom and Culture); Nirmal Kumar Basu’s ‘Hindu–Mussalman Somosya o Gandhiji’ (The Hindu–Muslim Problem and Gandhiji); Nagendra Kumar Guha Roy’s ‘Sri Arabinder Dristite Bangla o Bangali’ (Bengal and Bengalis in the Eyes of Sri Arabinda); Mohitlal Majumdar’s serialized ‘Madhusudaner Amitrakhhar Chhanda’ (Madhusudan’s Blank Verse); and Bibhuti Bhushan Mukhopadhyay’s ‘Khadya Bigyan’ (Food Science).

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