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The long and short of it

  • The long and short of it

    Summary: They are among the 12 ‘long short stories’ part of the anthology Tell Me a Long, Long Story (Aleph Book Company), edited by Mini Krishnan. A translator may not pick up a long short like she would a short story. Why isn’t the long story literary format as popular as the short story and the novel? The long story therefore tends to fade from sight more rapidly than short stories. I’ve been editing translations since 1992 though the first lot of 11 Macmillan translations took another four years to reach the public.

    In Mahasweta Devi’s Seed, written in Bengali as Bichhan in 1979, the protagonist Dulan Ganju has an ‘eerie’ habit — he sits atop a machan guarding a barren land by himself every night. In A Place To Live, translated from the Tamil version titled Kaaninilam Vendum, the author Gopikrishnan describes light-heartedly, a young couple’s life in the cramped line houses of Mylapore of the 1980s. The stories, although completely different in setting, mood, and style, have one thing in common — the mystique of India. They are among the 12 ‘long short stories’ part of the anthology Tell Me a Long, Long Story (Aleph Book Company), edited by Mini Krishnan. The collection, which includes translations from languages including Urdu, Kashmiri, Odia, and Marathi, is said to be among the first of its kind. Excerpts from an email interview with the editor: Tell us briefly about your journey with Indian literature. I’ve been editing translations since 1992 though the first lot of 11 Macmillan translations took another four years to reach the public , As Reported By Hindu.

    According to the Newspaper,I had always enjoyed reading translations not minding the archaic style of the 1960s or even poor translations but my first formal exposure came through critical writing when I helped Dr KM George to edit the 4,000 page Comparative Indian Literature volumes (Macmillans) in 1980-85. It was he who inspired me. It set me thinking about a translation programme which materialised only when Valli Alagappan of the MR AR Education Trust and her father the late AMM Arunachalam made available 50 lakhs for a project I called the Modern Indian Novels in Translation (1992). With more stops than starts I sourced and edited 37 volumes for Macmillans.

    Source: http://www.thehindu.com/life-and-style/the-long-and-short-of-it/article19845717.ece


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