Not the least remarkable feature of this book is the ‘Translator’s Introduction’ by Rani Ray. Outlining the genesis of Sunil Gangopadhyay’s Aranyer Dinratri, first published in Jalsa, a popular film journal based in Calcutta, Ray locates the novel both in its immediate context within the Bengali literary map and within a larger canvas of textual politics of the 1960s the world over.
The novel Anitya by Mridula Garg is a fascinating story that beautifully weaves the personal and political into one thread. It effectively uses the backdrop of the independence struggle to recount the failings of a nation and also the individuals caught in a web of conflicting ideologies.
The time has come, it seems, for India to read what Bharat has written. The spate of translations over the last few years is welcome for two main reasons: one for introducing the real India to the world and two, for raising the level of translations in this country to a degree that now one actually looks forward to reading them.
Explaining his location clearly as writer, translator, and linguist, the author Professor U.N. Singh paints a wide canvas on translation as an instrument of language growth. A growth that is essential to make languages ‘modern’, ‘a step which makes a given speech capable of being used in a much larger number of domains and in many manifestations’ (p. 183).
Kalpana Bardhan’s anthology is a comprehensive introduction to modern Bengali literature in translation. The chronological arrangement of these two volumes encompasses the breadth of modern Bengali literature and presents an overview of the major authors, works, genres, periods, movements and so on.