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Academic Paper

Title: Satyajit Ray Writes Paintings
Paper URL:
Author: Debaprasad Bandyopadhyay
Email: click here TO access email
Institution: Indian Statistical Institute
Author: Sovon Tarafdar
Linguistic Field: Writing Systems
Subject Language: Bengali
Abstract: This paper provides an account of Satyajit Ray’s (An Oscar-winner Bengali Filmmaker, musicologist, painter, and writer) calligraphic techniques. Satyajit Ray designed two English typefaces, viz., Ray Roman and Ray Bizarre. This paper concentrates on Ray’s artistic playing with the Bangla graphemes as it is revealed in the cine posters and cine promo-brochures’ covers (This paper excludes book-cover designs by Ray)./L//L/The authors of this paper found deep impact of:/L/(a) Artistic pattern of European staff notation in the graphemic syntagms; /L/(b) Alpana (“ritual painting” mainly practiced by Bengali women at the time of religious festival; the term denotes 'to coat with’. Generally categorized as “Folk”-Art cf. in Ray’s graphemic representations. /L//L/Thus, so-called division between classical and folk art is blurred in Ray’s representation of Bangla graphemes. The three-tier X-height of Bangla graphemes was presented in a manner of musical map and the contours, curves in between horizontal and vertical meeting-point, follow the patterns of alpana. Authors also showed the metamorphosis of graphemes (This might be designated as “Archewriting”) as a living object/subject in Ray’s manipulation of Bangla graphemes. Author also mentioned Ray’s calligraphic impact on the Bangla printing technology. Bengali children, when is to be introduced in the Language Art (especially Bangla writing system), may practice alpana with a festive mood for the easement of their finger-movements and for alpana’s affinity with the Bangla graphemes.
Type: Collection
Status: Completed
Publication Info: Dhrubapad Yearbook-VI, Sudhir Chakroborty, ed., pp. 392-417, Kolkata, 2002 Eastern Regional Cultural Centre, Gov. of India

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