NEW FRENCH TRANSLATION OF VIKRAM SETH, “THE GOLDEN GATE – INTERVIEW WITH SETH IN “TRANSFUGE”, MAY 2009

The French literary magazine TRANSFUGE, No 30 (May 2009), carries an interview with Vikram Seth (‘Vikram Seth: ‘Á San Francisco, la solitude est une mode de vie" [‘In San Francisco, solitude is a way of life’]; interviewer: Marine de Tilly; pp. 39-41), centring on the newly-published French translation of ‘The Golden Gate’, his California-set novel-in-verse from 1986. Details of the translation are: ‘Golden Gate’ [no article], trans. by ‘Claro’, Paris: Grasset, 2009. Only now, after 23 years, does this work of Seth’s appear in French: in the interview, Seth describes the book as ‘tout simplement intraduisible’ (‘quite simply untranslatable’ – p. 41), and expresses his pleasure at nonetheless having it appear in French: he lauds the translation and says it should have been published as co-signed by the translator! Asked on the no doubt still, to some, controversial issue of the ‘non-Indianness’ of ‘The Golden Gate’, Seth argues (p. 39) that roots are not confined to one place: there are trees like the banyan which can be transported and replanted anywhere.

 

TRANSFUGE has a site at www.transfuge.fr, but the articles are subscriber-only.

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