Re: Weekend Thoughts! - Death of a monther Tongue

Ramakrishna S. Pillalamarri (pkrishna@ARL.MIL)
Thu, 23 May 96 7:24:37 EDT

Now that Sreenivas has opened the film-door, a small crack from me.

I think someone recently mentioned this, "beedala pATlu" was an adaptation
of the novel "Les miserables". Back when I saw this as a kid, I didn't know
of the foreign connectI understand "bangAru pApa", a classic film (IMO)
by Vauhini Studios is based on Silas Marner. And, a hilarious movie *ing
bhAnumati -"varuDu kAvAli" is based on a spanish(?) story/novel called
"Fabulous Senorita". I am sure there are many many more.

But perhaps all the above is digression. So what else is new?

However while our film (no, make it movie) directors are not that much
to write home about, authors/poets are something else. Here, it is not
because of lack of quality or standards that we get ignored. It is
because of sheer ignorance, and a lack of marketing know-how on our part.

There is a tremendous amount of background (and sometimes not
so-background) publicity barrage that goes on for the Nobel prize for
literature. For a few years I have been told that one or the authors
of a group of Indian (albeit settled abroad) authors is going to get it.
Not yet.

If Indian authors who may cut the mustard are being passed over, what is
the fate of Telugu authors? Many times when kannaDa, tamiL, malayALam,
(even - here I fear the wrath of palana) oriyA is mentioned, telugu
often is not. Years ago, perhaps when 3/4ths of the readers of this note
were born, pAlagummi padmarAju won an award (was it first place? vElUri?)
in an international competition, for his story "gAli vAna". But how many
of us do even know about it?

Perhaps translating a short story is far easier than translating a novel.
And many a time some aspects of our life/culture cannot be translated,
or when they are done, become but pale imitations of the original.

SrISrI was recognized in Russia, not for the literary content of his poems,
but for the ideology he conveyed. Perhaps I could have phrased this better.
SrISrI freely acknowledges (and attributes) the influence of many
western writers (Swinburne comes to mind, "where are the snows of
yesteryear" to "Evi tallee, niruDu kurisina hima samUhamulU?"). So was
kRshNa SAstri influenced by romantic poets Shelley, Yeats, Keats, Byron
(something tells me that I am being rather imprecise here. I plead
guilty, being away from home, with nothing nearby to consult). But outside
AP, how much is he known?

I may go on for some more, but I have to go out and spend (no, make it
-put) your tax dollars to work. Otherwise a company of MPs may give me
some (undesired) company.