Description: Byomkesh Bakshi is a fictional detective in Bengali literature created by Sharadindu Bandyopadhyay. The advocate-turned-litterateur Bandyopadhyay was deeply influenced by the different Sherlock Holmes, Hercule Poirot and Father Brown stories as well as the “tales of ratiocination” produced by Edgar Allan Poe. He was, however, concerned with how the Indian and Bengali fictional detectives created between 1890 and 1930 had failed to exist as something other than mere copies of the Western (and particulalry English) fictional detectives. All the stories of Dinendra Kumar Ray’s Robert Blake, Panchkari Dey’s Debendra Bijoy Mitra or Swapan Kumar’s Deepak Chatterjee were almost always set in London or in Kolkata which was identifiably the British metropolis. It was almost as a postcolonial response that Sharadindu Bandyopadhyay introduced the Bengali ‘bhadrolok’ (gentleman) sleuth Byomkesh Bakshi and Ajit Banerjee (Byomkesh’s associate and narrator) in “Pather Kanta” in 1932, and began to write of them as investigating in an Indian metropolis – the capital of British India until 1911 – that has had been thoroughly Indianised. Initially serialized in the literary magazine Basumati, the stories and novels were all eventually published in hardcover editions, the first being Byomkesher Diary.The detective was picturized in a film (Chiriyakhana or The Zoo) by Satyajit Ray, starring Uttam Kumar in 1967. It has also been televised in Hindi by Doordarshan by Basu Chatterjee, featuring Rajit Kapur.
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