Romanticize, the Deromanticized
Literature classrooms, a coterie of intellectual aesthetic minds where illustrious professors taught with academic brilliance and exquisite exuberance on Shakespeare, Keats, Shelley… were havens for students crafting a sojourn to a world of imagination. As pandemic hit our shores of existence, the Internet made a brigade charge over the livelihood making us adapt to online life. Teams, Meet, Zoom recreated homeoffice and socializing soon mediated with work. Internet became the cult of every household.
Disgruntled and disillusioned, relegating their virtual classrooms to the bins of memory, solving themselves the jig saw puzzle of life with every nerve of steel, each one seeks empathy. Weeping unconsolably over the loss of real classrooms which were a tangerine to linger on at the wave of existential crisis, the Internet offers new ways to reconstruct the lost selves.
Opening new vistas of endless opportunities, the Covid ’19 period is also a period where books are devoured with voracity to rehabilitate the lost space and identity. The three Ts: Translation, Transcreation and Transliteration are the keys on the pad to make the world a single hub. Translation works are a source of solace for the cracked minds which lament at the fragmentation of the age.
The Man Booker International Prize in 2016 for the author and the translator of the same book is a testimony to the fact that translation has a perspicacity to create a feeling of oneness. It is sad that there is a dearth of professional creative translators. India, a home country of countless languages and dialects faces a crisis at translation circuits. The Sahitya Akademi, the supreme literary body offers prizes for translation only for 22 languages recognized by the Constitution. The unspoken hierarchy of culture and states dominate the linguistic territories too. The publishing nexus that contributes to disparity, unequal opportunities and lack of pedagogy in regional languages should be sorted out.
The pandemic era witnessed attempts to recover endangered languages. In this complex socio – cultural milieu, the role of translator is significant as producers of culture. The crux of the matter in translation is tedious and the thought of translation as a subaltern or weak cousin to the original needs to be reworked.
Had it not been for translation, Tagore wouldn’t have won the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1913. Some of the finest pieces of literature would have faced stillbirth or would have been mortal remains in the skeletal cupboard locked up. The ever- evolving branch of literature – translation needs to be embraced, accepted and understood for its diversity and historicity.
-Dr. Raichal John, Assistant Professor, Department of English, St. Joseph’s College, Devagiri