Archive for October, 2007

On-line piece by my late father, on the India scholar David McCutchion

I have just found on-line this piece by my late father Robert Rollason (who left us in August 2007), written in tribute to

the India scholar and friend of his David McCutchion,

from the Jesus College Cambridge Annual Report for 2005. David was a pioneer

in the study of Indian Writing in English.  I met him myself twice when I was young,

and have myself written (cf. entry on this blog for 23 Nov 2006):

 

‘David McCutchion, Pioneer Critic of Raja Rao’, in Raja Rao: The Master and his Moves, ed. Jaydeep Sarangi, New Delhi: Authorpress, 2007, pp. 9-20,

      http://yatrarollason.info/files/RaoandMcCutchion.pdf

**

http://www.jesus.cam.ac.uk/alumni/publications/Annual%20Report%202005.pdf

 

Jesus College Annual Report 2005

p. 117

 

**

A Short but Memorable Life

Robert Rollason (1950) writes of an old friend: the late David McCUTCHION, who came up,

also in 1950, to read modern languages under Freddie Brittain and Trevor Jones, died in

1972 when he was only 41. In his short life he achieved more than many of us in our three

score years and ten, and his scholarship is still very much alive today.

At Cambridge he was a keen member of the Tagore Society and after graduating went out to

Calcutta where he worked for most of the rest of his life, eventually as a reader in

comparative literature at Jadavpur University. During his two decades in India, David made

major – and pioneering – contributions to the study of both temples and scroll paintings.

The monumental Brick temples of Bengal (Princeton, 1983) used his writings and hundreds of

the 10,000 temple photographs he had taken. In the preface to this book his great

friend the film director Satyajit Ray wrote of ‘David’s adventures’ in collecting this mass of

original material, ‘for adventures they truly were, comic and tragic by turns, triumphant

and despondent in equal measures.’ In spite of the hazards, David’s expertly shot

transparencies and prints have a serene quality; the collection is now housed in the Victoria

and Albert Museum.

The other original strand of David’s scholarship was his work in the field of ‘Indian writing

in English’, now fashionable in many western universities. His 1961 publication The novel as

sastra on the writer Raja Rao was a critical landmark and led to his 1969 collection Indian

writing in English which helped to open up this new subject of study, until then all but ignored

in Europe and the USA. After the success of such writers as Salman Rushdie, Vikram Seth

and Anita Desai, this subject has risen to prominence both in universities and among the

reading public. David’s work is still in print and is regularly cited, most recently in 2004 in

a new study of Rao by Letizia Alterno, a young Italian academic at Manchester University.

David came back to England as a visiting lecturer in the School of African and Asian Studies

at Sussex University for the year 1970–1 and was due to return to the UK again in 1972 to

complete his book on Indian temple architecture and another on Bengal terracottas. He also

had in mind a study of ‘pata’ painting and ‘patua’ scrolls, but sadly none was completed by

him. Briefly back in Calcutta, he suffered a virulent attack of polio and died shortly

afterwards, to the consternation of his family and many friends in England and India.

Besides David’s major work on temples, his study of scroll painting was also completed after

his death, in this case by Professor Shurid Bhownick of Midnapore University who published

it in 1999. In 1972 a volume of tributes, David McCutchion Shraddhanjali, appeared in India and,

shortly after, David was posthumously awarded the Tagore Prize for literature. Those who

knew him will be pleased to hear that this Jesus graduate is still remembered on the subcontinent

and in Europe. David McCutchion made his mark: as The Times concluded in its

obituary in February 1972, ‘he did more for Anglo-Indian friendship than a government or

an ideology can undo’ and this good effect continues today.

 

**

NOTE added 10 August 2009: This piece by my father is now also cited in the Wikipedia entry on David McCutchion at:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/David_McCutchion.

The same entry cites my own essay on David McCutchion and Raja Rao, as mentioned earlier in this post. 

 

BELOW: photos of my late father (in Luxembourg;  with my mother,

in Place Stanislas. Nancy, France;  and with my mother and myself in the Pépinière

park, Nancy, France; all 2006)

 

 

 

Advertisements

My translation from Spanish of MAQUETTE, a story by CRISTINA GALEANO (Uruguay)

You can now find on-line
my translation from Spanish (‘Maquette’) of a short story (‘Maqueta’) by the Uruguayan writer Cristina Galeano, at:
 
The story is about a long-term friendship between two architects.
 
Cristina is an extremely talented writer, specialising in the delicate exploration of close interpersonal relationships (themes of family and friendship), and I am delighted to be able to begin making her work available in English!!
 

I have earlier put a mention in Spanish of her work on this blog (entry 2 October 2007).

 

 

 

 
 

FESTIVAL LITERARIO MEXICANO EN BARCELONA, octubre 2007

 

FESTIVAL LITERARIO: Fet a Mèxic – Barcelona
Fecha: Hasta el 6 de octubre
Gratuito

Lugar: Diversos espacios
Fuente:

Tríbuna Latina, 2 octubre 07

Hasta al 6 de octubre de 2007 tendrá lugar en Barcelona el festival literario Fet a Mèxic, que no está exclusivamente dedicado a la literatura mexicana, sino que pretende establecer un diálogo real sobre literatura y escritura entre los participantes que vienen de México y los que los reciben aquí. En un festival que no sólo busca crear descubrimientos mutuos, sino que pretende generar un espacio de trabajo, reflexión y celebración literarias.

El festival, un proyecto sin presupuesto inicial, independiente y desvinculado de directrices editoriales e institucionales de selección, pretende elaborar un retrato hablado sobre literatura y escritura, en un contexto de diálogo entre escritores, lectores, críticos y editores de ambos lados del Atlántico. Teniendo como punto de partida la presentación de una antología (Lolita Bosch, Hecho en México, Literatura Mondadori, 2007) y como punto de confluencia el quehacer literario más allá de los contextos nacionales.

Con esta celebración no sólo queremos hacer presente, dentro del ámbito cultural catalán, una de las presencias literarias más contundentes y ricas de la lengua española, sino sobre todo fortalecer los profundos vínculos históricos y fraternos que han existido entre México y Catalunya.

Además de los siete diálogos que conforman uno de los principales ejes del festival, habrá, durante la primera semana de octubre, diversas actividades. Entre otras: recitales de poetas mexicanos y catalanes, un ciclo de entrevistas a escritores mexicanos realizadas por televisiones catalanas y españolas, un encuentro de narradores orales, jornadas literarias en varias universidades, conversaciones entre escritores, una muestra de fondos editoriales de escritores mexicanos que no se encuentran fácilmente reunidos en Barcelona, una charla virtual con Alejandro Rossi y un tequila de bienvenida.

Todas las actividades estarán precedidas por el Pre Festival: un taller virtual de cuento en la UOC / Escola d’Escriptura de l’Ateneu Barcelonès (del 17 al 20 de septiembre, Eduard Márquez y Pablo Raphael trabajarán un cuento de Mercè Rodoreda y otro de Juan José Arreola. Al finalizar el taller habrá un concurso de escritura, cuyo ganador recibirá un curso de 30 horas en la Escola d’Escriptura de l’Ateneu Barcelonès) y un ciclo de documentales sobre escritura en la Casa Amèrica Catalunya (del 25 al 28 de septiembre.)

El festival, por otro lado, tendrá como escenario de acogida importantes espacios de Barcelona, como el CaixaForum –el Centro Social y Cultural de la Obra Social "la Caixa"; las librerías la Central, Laie y la FNAC; la Escola d’Escriptura de l’Ateneu Barcelonès, la red de Biblioteques de Barcelona y las principales universidades de la ciudad. Una de las actividades, además, se llevarán en cabo en Sant Joan de les Abadesses, pueblo natal del compositor de la música del himno mexicano: Jaime Nunó.

El festival, finalmente, que también podrá seguirse en el blog fetamexic.blogspot.com, vendrá acompañado de publicaciones especiales en medios literarios como Cultura/s, Quimera, El Ángel de Reforma o Revuelta, entre otros. Y está conformado por una multitud de voces literarias que viajan desde México, participan desde aquí, escriben para diversos medios o colaboran en la realización del blog.

RELATOS Y CUENTOS A MEDIDA: OBRA LITERARIA DE CRISTINA GALEANO (URUGUAY)

Me permito presentarles algo de la obra literaria de la talentosa escritora uruguaya,
Cristina Galeano. En:
encontrarán Vds. la página REGALATO, que se consagra al
concepto ‘Relatos y cuentos a medida’.
 
Ahí se expone ese concepto original de la autora, además de que
la página contiene el texto de seis relatos ofrecidos como
ejemplos del género.
 
Se nota la habilidad de Cristina Galeano en explorar los finos
detalles de relaciones familiares u otras, como:
padre e hijo, madre e hija, abuela y nieto, hermano y hermana,
ex-novio y ex-novia, maestra y ex-alumno.
 

 
Cristina Galeano es también la autora de la novela
‘Cosas que pasan’ (2007).

ALL 22 YEARS OF JOURNAL “ORAL TRADITION” – NOW ON-LINE

All 22 years of the journal Oral Tradition are now available online and free of charge at

                         http://journal.oraltradition.org

             This site now contains nearly 500 articles and 10,000 pages, with all of the contents downloadable as pdf files that you can read online or print out as you wish. The entire electronic archive of Oral Tradition is also searchable by keyword or author name, with phrase-based and Boolean searches possible as well.

                        The Center for Studies in Oral Tradition at the University of Missouri (http://oraltradition.org) thus now offers Oral Tradition to anyone worldwide with an internet connection and a browser. It is hoped that the online, open-access format will enlarge and diversify the journal’s readership, and particularly that it will offer everyone interested in the world’s oral traditions – regardless of their location and academic context – an equal opportunity to contribute actively to the discussion. This field will prosper most readily if it operates as an academic democracy without financial or distributional barriers.

             As for future contents, the next issue of Oral Tradition (volume 22, number 2) will be a special collection devoted to Basque traditions, and will include descriptive and analytical articles, interviews with oral poets, and an eCompanion with photographic, audio, and video support. Beyond that issue we will be publishing articles on Albanian oral law, Native American storytelling, modern Greek oral poetry, Welsh saints’ lives, modern Balinese epic, and many other topics across the international spectrum.

**

I add that issue 22 includes my own article on Bob DYlan, as mentiond elsewhere on this blog (entry for 27 JUne 2007), at:

http://journal.oraltradition.org/files/articles/22i/Rollason.pdf;