25 January, 2021

A Fantastic Turn Towards The End

Six novellas from Telugu, Kannada, Bengali, Tamil, Malayalam and Marathi literature offer a glimpse into different Indian realities for a bhasha-deprived generation

A Fantastic Turn Towards The End

Translations of fiction are always something to look forward to: for they can mean encounters with new images, metaphors and sensibilities. The work of English translation from Indian languages assumes an added political significance at a time when large numbers of Indians can read only in English and enjoy only a colloquial hold over Ind­ian languages. The institutional consequences of the rise of a dominant class of deracinated Indians are of course yet to be properly understood.

In this situation, one feels especially grateful for the quiet determination and diligent scholarship with which Mini Krishnan, editor of the recently launched Oxford Novellas series, and her colleagues elsewhere, have sought to make literary texts in bhashas available in English over the last many years.

The first publishing initiative of its kind in the country, the Oxford Novellas give exclusive space for a literary form which has seen classics such as Poornachandra Tejaswi’s Carvalho and Asokamitran’s Water in India (and elsewhere, George...



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