Vikram Chandra in Spanish translation: LOVE AND LONGING IN BOMBAY (paper)



I originally gave this paper at the Fourth Congress of the European Society For Translation Studies (‘Translation Studies: Doubts And Directions’), held at the Faculty of Letters of the University of Lisbon, 26-29 September 2004.

 ** ABSTRACT ** Indian writing in English is now recognised as a major contemporary current in English-language literature. The likes of Salman Rushdie, Amitav Ghosh and Anita Desai have won worldwide acclaim for the quality of their writing and their imaginative use of English. However, the act of translating a text from this corpus of writing raises a number of sociolinguistic and methodological issues which require negotiation between text, translator and reader. These include: the role of English as global lingua franca; the position of English in India (a minority and ex-colonial, but also transregional language, whose mastery is a badge of educatedness); the fact that Indian writers in English, whether India-resident or expatriates, are writing not in their native language but in a second language; and the resultant ‘transcultural’ character of their texts. ** This paper will examine the translation into Spanish of Vikram Chandra’s prize-winning collection of linked stories, ‘Love and Longing in Bombay’ (1997) (‘Amor y añoranza en Bombay’, translated by Dora Sales Salvador and Esther Monzó Nebot, 2001). Starting out from the position that a work of fiction produced in English by an Indian writer has, in cultural terms, already been translated in the original writing process, the analysis will centre on the problems confronting the translator of such a text into a third language and the strategies chosen to meet the challenge, and will also consider the issue of the visibility of the translator and the concrete means (glossary, afterword) employed to highlight this crucial dimension.


** Translation published by Espasa (Madrid):


Note added 19 September 2008:

 ** This paper can be found in expanded, revised and updated (2007) at:

** There is a favourable mention of this paper and the translation in the on-line article: ‘Hybrid texts, sources and translation’ (March 2008), by Mohammad Bagher Roozgar, Department of Translation Studies, Safashahr University, Iran, at:

Note added 31 May 2010

**The paper has now been published in print form. Details:

‘Translating A Transcultural Text – Problems And Strategies: On The Spanish Translation Of Vikram Chandra’s "Love And Longing In Bombay"’, in Sheobhushan Shukla, Christopher Rollason and Ana Shukla (eds.), Entwining Narratives: Critical Explorations into Vikram Chandra’s Fiction, New Delhi: Sarup, 2010, pp. 79-104;


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