Literature Defies Geographical Boundaries
Abdul Naseeb Khan
PREMCHAND IN WORLD LANGUAGES: TRANSLATION, RECEPTION AND CINEMATIC REPRESENTATIONS by M Asaduddin Routledge, Taylor and Francis Group, London and New York, 2018, 284 pp., 895
February 2018, volume 42, No 2

Astalwart champion of the socialist cause, Premchand gained iconic status and world-wide fame by virtue of his socially realistic approach, deep and strong ties with his surroundings, authentic depiction of rural life and its issues, realistic representation of proletarian experiences, existential angst and a host of other subject-matters. The first thing that needs to be pointed out is that reception studies is an extremely difficult area of studies and there are very few scholars who have ventured into it. It is quite difficult to measure the impact of a writer on a foreign literature and its culture. It requires bilingual and multicultural scholarship of a kind rarely available. So, it is commendable that the editor of the volume under review could draw reputed scholars from English, French, German, Russian and Spanish to study Premchand’s impact in those languages and literary cultures. The volume certainly marks a pioneering intervention in this area. To my knowledge, no other Indian author has been studied from these perspectives. Opening with an insightful introduction by M Asaduddin, the volume aspires to make a thorough investigation into the global recognition and reception of Premchand’s works which have been instrumental in shaping people’s view about India beyond India.

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