Noted scholar, critic, educationist and a retired professor of the Department of English, Aligarh Muslim University, AMU, Prof. Asloob Ahmad Ansari, passed away today in Aligarh. He was 91. Prof. Ansari is survived by two daughters.
A man of distinct scholarship, Prof Ansari, was born at Saharanpur in 1925. He joined AMU in Intermediate and after completing BA (OXUN) and MA in English, he became a teacher of English at AMU.
After his retirement in 1985, Prof. Ansari dedicated himself to promotion of scholarship and literature. He had authored 34 books and hundreds of articles, published in peer reviewed national and international journals.Prof. Ansari received several prestigious awards including Bahadur Shah Zafar Award and Pakistan President’s award for his work on Allama Iqbal. The Gorakhpur University also conferred upon him an honorary D. Lit.
A notable literary critic he has extensively published both in English and Urdu. He was also the editor of the prestigious Aligarh Critical Miscellany and Naqd-o-Nazar (Urdu). His first publication, Arrows of Intellect, came out in 1965; it was subsequently reprinted in the USA in 1970. His second book, William Blake’s Minor Prophecies, was published by the Edwin Mellen Press, Wales (UK) in 2001.
Besides being an internationally recognized Shakespeare and Blake scholar, Prof. Ansari has also published substantial critical studies of Ghalib and Iqbal. In English studies he made his mark by his significant contribution to Shakespeare scholarship and this has been recently climaxed by his The Existential Dramaturgy of William Shakespeare, published by the Edwin Mellen Press, Wales (UK).
In Urdu he is indisputably held as the initiator of Practical (Text-based) Criticism. He participated, a number of times, in the World Shakespeare Conference in Stratford (UK). He also attended the conference on Time and Space in Islam in Chicago (USA). Abstracts of his articles on Shakespeare have been included from time to time in the Year’s Work in English (London). He received Sahitya Academy Award in 1980. Later he was awarded with several prestigious awards including President of Pakistan Award, Mir Taqi Mir Award, UP Urdu Academy Award, Ghalib Award and Bahadur Shah Zafar Aawrd for his notable works on Iqbal and in textual criticism. He has been cited in Shakespeare’s Poetics (Cambridge) and Watchmen of Eternity (London and Boston). The honorary degree of D.Lit. was conferred on him by the University of Gorakhpur in 2006.