Archive for May, 2009

INDIAN LEGENDARY WRITINGS IN ENGLISH: MULK RAJ ANAND, R.K. NARAYAN AND RAJA RAO, ed. Jaydeep Sarangi

I draw to your attention the book INDIAN LEGENDARY WRITINGS IN ENGLISH: MULK RAJ ANAND, R.K. NARAYAN AND RAJA RAO, ed. Jaydeep Sarangi, Delhi: Authorspress, 2009. This volume collects 26 essays, some of them previously published, on these three key figures of Indian Writing in English. There are five articles on Anand, four on Rao and 17 on Narayan. Contributors include, on Anand, Binod Mishra and Jaydeep Sarangi; on Rao, Gauri Shankar Jha; on Narayan, Subhendhu Mund (on ‘The Guide’) and Ludmila Volna (‘The Town of Malgudi: The World of R.K. Narayan’s Novels’).

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“LE NOUVEL OBSERVATEUR”, 14-20 MAY 2009: INTERVIEW WITH VIKRAM CHANDRA (AND AN ERROR)

The 14-20 May 2009 issue of the Paris weekly LE NOUVEL OBSERVATEUR is billed as an ‘India special’, and features, inter alia, a long interview with Vikram Chandra: ‘La justice ou le chaos’ [‘Justice or chaos’)’, pp. 46-47; interviewers: François Armanet and Gilles Anquetil).

 

The interview text is on-line at:

http://hebdo.nouvelobs.com/hebdo/parution/p2323/articles/a401293-.html?xtmc=vikramchandra&xtcr=1

 

The novelist, whose SACRED GAMES (in French LE SEIGNEUR DE BOMBAY) has proved a big seller and critical success in France, talks on his reasons for writing that novel, the interrelations between the underworld and the rest of society (including institutions like the intelligence service), the extent to which his novel prefigured the Bombay bomb attacks, and the strengths and challenges of Indian democracy.

 

He stresses (p. 46 – I re-translate from the French) ‘the way crime impregnates the diverse facets of my city’: ‘The detective novel has always had that function, since the Memoirs of Vidocq. The investigator explores all the strata of the city, historical and social, and as he unveils the links between the world of the rich and the underworld, between past and present, the reader creates a map of the world’.

 

The interview is of major interest, and also indicates Vikram Chandra’s rising profile in France. Unfortunately, though, there is a flagrant error when, again on p. 46, he is described as ‘l”auteur des "Tigres d’Allah"’, i.e. as the author [sic] of "The Srinagar Conspiracy" (the title is different in French), a novel published in 2000 by *another* Vikram (A.) Chandra, an Indian TV presenter. This is not the first time this error has appeared in the French press: I only hope those responsible will be made aware of it and that it will be the last …

TEXTO DE MIGUEL SÁENZ: TRADUCCIÓN Y MÚSICA

Acaba de ser publicado, en la revista ENTRECULTURAS de la Universidad de Málaga (Número 1, 2009, 33-43), un estimulante artículo de Miguel Sáenz, el muy conocido traductor de literatura anglosajona y alemana al castellano: http://www.entreculturas.uma.es/n1pdf/articulo02.pdf  

 

En este texto, “El castellano bien templado”, el autor plantea una extensa y fecunda analogía entre traducción y música, desde puntos de vista tanto teóricos como prácticos, explicándonos que “cuando me sitúo ante un texto (que normalmente coloco en un atril), me siento como un músico dispuesto a acometer la tarea de descifrar, asimilar y expresar lo que otro compuso”.  Me complazco añadir que este excelente estudio hasta incluye, en una nota en su página 38, una cita de un texto  mío: “Translating a Transcultural Text – Problems and Strategies: On the Spanish Translation of Vikram Chandra’s ‘Love and Longing in Bombay’” (de Dora Sales y Esther Monzó) – http://yatrarollason.info/files/CHANDRALISBON2007VERSIONrev.pdf. Aquí quedan mis agradecimientos al eminente traductor Miguel Sáenz por  honrar mi trabajo de este modo: es un verdadero halago.

CONFLUENCE: SOUTH ASIAN PERSPECTIVES (April 2009 issue)

I draw to your attention the April 2009 edition of the London-based print magazine CONFLUENCE: SOUTH ASIAN PERSPECTIVES  (confluenceuk@btinternet.com). This lively and stimulating publication covers a wide range of political, economic, arts and literary subjects concerning the countries of South Asia and their diasporas.

 

The literary material in this issue is very strong, and includes the following reviews: by Val Nolan, of the novel ‘The Sweet and Simple Kind’ by Yasmine Gooneratne (which looks to be Sri Lanka’s answer to ‘A Suitable Boy’); by Reginald Massey, of a study of Ruskin Bond by Som Parkash Ranchan; and by Padmaja Thajore, of John Thieme’s volume on R.K. Narayan in the Contemporary World Writers series (University of Manchester Press). Also included, on pp. 14-15, is a three-way dialogue on Indian Writing in English bringing together Nilanshu Agarwal, Ludmila Volna and myself (this interview has also appeared in the Indian journal THE QUEST and on-line; see entries on this blog for 24-6-08 and 29-12-08).  

 

CONFLUENCE has a website: www.confluence.org.uk (apparently not identical to the print edition).