Translation is even now regarded, in some quarters at least, as a secondary activity, a parasite feeding on an “original“ text; or, at best, a necessary evil. In the world of creativity, its status is that of a poor cousin to the original. Even so, with a globalized world looming larger by the day, the relevance of translation is increasingly evident to most. In the context of multilingual India, its urgency and importance can hardly be over-emphasized. Unfortunately, as an art, translation is yet to develop in India to the extent one would have expected. There could be many reasons: inadequate financial support, the lack of respect it deserves and absence of incentives such as recognition and literary prizes.
This seminar on Translation as Literature, a two-and-a-half day event to be held at the IIAS, is aimed at emphasising and demonstrating that serious translation is a cultural activity which is as important and as necessary as original literature. After all, literature and translation depend on each other if we at all wish to postulate the existence of „Indian literature“ and if the two-hundred-year-old term „World Literature“ has any meaning at all. To bring out the specifics of literary translation in India, the format of the seminar will have to be somewhat different from the conventual format.
The format will be as follows:
(1) The writer and poet of our choice will give a reading from one of his / her books;
(2) thereafter one or two translators into Indian languages will discuss the manner in which they have translated these texts, stating their rationale.
(3) One or two discussants (who have known the originals and the translations beforehand) will critique the translation, bringing out their particular value as well as drawbacks.
(4) Both the writer and poet as well as the translators will respond to this critique.
This four-step procedure will consume one full morning each. A part of the afternoons will be used to give the audience an opportunity to question the writer and poet as well as their translators. A translation editor, a publisher of literary translations, and one professor of translation history and of translation as it is handled in Europe and the USA will speak.
Sumanyu Satpathy, Former Fellow, IIAS (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Martin Kämpchen, Former Tagore Fellow, IIAS (email@example.com)
A limited number of participants will be invited for the Seminar. Those interested in participating should send (preferably by email) an abstract (500 words) of the proposed paper along with their brief bio of around 200 words to:
The last date for submission of abstract (500 words) is 3rd February, 2019 till 12:00 midnight. The Institute intends to send invitation letters to selected participants by 11th February, 2019. It is the policy of the Institute to publish the papers not proceedings of the seminars it organizes. Hence, all invited participants will be expected to submit complete papers (English or Hindi), hitherto unpublished and original, with citations in place, along with a reference section, to the Academic Resource Officer, Indian Institute of Advanced Study, Shimla– 171005 by 15th March, 2019. Style sheet for the submission of papers may be downloaded from the IIAS website http://www.iias.ac.in/ content/shss.
IIAS, Shimla, will be glad to extend its hospitality during the seminar period and is willing to reimburse, if required, rail or air travel expenses from the place of current residence in India, or the port of arrival in India, and back.
दूरभाष: +91 177 2832930 ; +91 177 2831376
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