telugu vIrula mElukolupu & anuvAdAlu

Nasy Sankagiri (
Thu, 4 Sep 1997 21:51:11 -0400

>Akkiraju Bhattiprolu wrote:
>>      "vaMdEmAtaraM" idi ninAdamA?  gItamA ?
>> AsEtu hiMAcalaM okEtrATi mIda naDustU,  okka kaMThaMtO
>> pADina pATa, hOrettiMcina ninAdaM.   nidralO,  melakuvAlO,
>> bAdhalO, bhayaMlO,  tyAgaMlO, UrilO, nagaraMlO, ceralO......
>> iDE japaM, IdE maMtraM,  idE Sakti.

> Prasad opines
>have you seen the movie "AnandmaTh". it was telecast one of those
>afternoons on DD. the tune in that movie, which i believe is the tune
>that was used during the national movement, is totally different from
>the one we are used to now. while the former is like a war cry of the
>patriots trying to encourage and embolden the masses to join the war for

This is not a desperate attempt to combine the two active threads - they
just happen to coincide. I read an English translation of AnandamaTh. From
what I remember, the song is much longer than what was posted here - it
runs for something like three pages. The story is not much about freedom
from British, but more about liberation, in general. I don't know how the
song became a slogan of the independence struggle - that probably has
something to do with the time at which the novel appeared.

Re:translations: I seem to be one of the few around here who read kalupu
mokkalu of SrI su SA. I read not only the original, but also an English
translation by Ranga Rao, from an anthology published by Penguin. It had
always been my opinion that SrIpAda's telugu cannot be translated, not only
into English, but into any other language. So, judging translation process
as a whole on the basis of this one story may be distracting. SrIpAda's
stories cannot be translated because they are so uniquely telugu. One would
have to write tons of footnotes (like they attempted to do with some recent
reissues of koku's and SrISrI's works) to explain all the nuances. Now, how
many telugu stories can make the claim to be so uniquely telugu? I am not
saying that every telugu story has to be like that. It is possible to
translate most telugu stories.

A counter-example is Kazantzakis's 'Last temptation of Christ'
...digression; a while ago, vElUri vAru mentioned Norman Mailer's 'The
Gospel According to the Son' as a portrayal of human nature of Christ. I
think Kazantzakis made this protrayal first, & IMHO, did a better job,
Kazantzakis apparently used such a wide variety of greek dialects in
creating Nazareth and its neighborhoods, he essentially made Greeks out of
all the characters in the book. & it seems the greek-ness was not limited
to the language alone. In the version I read, the translator confessed his
inability to capture that authentic greek-ness of the original. Still, it
(the translation) was an impressive novel.

In the anthology 'katha: Prize stories', I read two more telugu short
stories in English translation. I could not lay my hands on the originals,
but I felt that those translations were not bad at all. Mind you, these had
very telugu themes (after all, what is literature if it can not reflect the
society?), but they were not as telugu-esque as SrIpAda's.

So, what kind of a telugu story adapts well in translation? I don't know.
BTW, Vasu's original question was not limited to translations from telugu -
why don't they write in English? That remains unanswered.