Notes from the Underground
Mrinal Pande
MUKTIBODH RACHANAVALL IN SIX VOLUMES by Namichand Jain Rajkamal Prakashan, New Delhi, 1981, 432 pp., 360.00
Jan-Feb 1981, volume 5, No 1/2

Muktibodh Rachanvali is a six volume compilation of the total literary output of one of the most remarkable writ­ers of our time. Born in 1917 at Sheopur, Gwalior, in a middle-class family, Muktibodh died in New Delhi in 1964 after a prolonged illness, leaving behind a size­able body of work most of it unpublished. His lifelong struggle against poverty left his literary gifts undiminished, but it did, coupled with the indifference of the read­ing public and the hostility of his con­temporary criticism, make him indiffer­ent to cataloguing or preserving his work. This must have made the task of collect­ing, arranging in proper order and chro­nologically his various poems and prose writings very difficult indeed. The editor of the volumes, the well-known Hindi poet-critic Shri Namichand Jain, an old and close friend and associate of the late poet, deserves to be congratulated for presenting, in spite of the odds, in as neat and orderly a sequence, the complete output of a mercurial writer, as was pos­sible.

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