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Translation

In Another Tongue: How Translation As A Literary Form Has Gained Ground In India

In a country as linguistically diverse as India, with its treasure trove of regional literature and a growing tribe of English speakers, translation as a literary form is gaining ground

A  work of translation is a world recreated in another tongue. Translators who transcreate a literary text invariably slip into the style and cultural consciousness of ano­ther writer. While working with elem­ents of sound and rhythm, image and rhetoric, tone and voice, a translator is a ventriloquist and a chameleon in his/her manipulation of language within the island of the given text and its distinct perimeter, Lydia Davis writes in Essays Two: On Proust, Translation, Foreign Languages, and the City of Arles (2021).

A translator’s identity extends well beyond a language expert. Translators are also cultural connoisseurs since they have figured out the man­ifold dynamics of the target literary system, remarks Hemang Ashwinkumar, a bilingual poet, translator, editor and critic, who has been working in Gujarati and English. His translation of Dalpat Chauhan’s novel, Vultures (Pen­g­uin Random House), has just been published. Centred on the violent tipping point of caste hierarchy in a Gujarat village in 1964, the novel is set to introduce English readers to one of the architects of Dalit literature in Gujarat.

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