Re: telugu vIrula mElukolupu & anuvAdAlu

Jagdish Bisa (bisa@tiac.net)
Fri, 05 Sep 1997 03:09:23 +0000


Nasy Sankagiri, combining the threads, said:

> 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.

I agree.  Further, I've to say that the argument  wasn't intended to
dismiss translation of Telugu stuff in to English. It was an attempt to
disqualify an overwhelming  desire  to have atleast as many, if not
more, Telugu works as any of our neighboring cultures, translated in to
English.   Not that such an idea itself is bad, but the premises giving
rise to such ideas.  Premises such as Telugu  fiction may be too simple,

lack of originality and/or Telugus do not know enough English to
translate their fiction.

The truth is,  as mentioned in a way by Chandrasekhar Kanneganti, lot of

us do not know how to evaluate sophisticated Telugu fiction.  Hence, we
depend on the fail safe yard stick -- How many Telugu works  have been
translated in to English? -- The more the number, the  better we feel
about our heritage.   Not  a  healthy sign.   Nor it will stop at
literature.  The moment we've gotten enough translations,  our attention

shifts to other creative arts. Like cinema or music for instance.  Every

married person knows about this.

It strikes to me, to sum it up, that we  do have few Telugus writing in
English.  And a few reasonably good Translations too.

-Jagdish ( You know you're losing it, when you make out a Telugu story
while reading its English translation!  ) Bisa