Overdoing Transcreation
Sara Rai
TWENTYFOUR STORIES BY PREMCHAND by Nandini Nopany Vikas Publishing House, New Delhi, 1980, 191 pp., 60.00
Nov-Dec 1980, volume 5, No 11/12

Translation, like criticism, must be perpetually re-undertaken. Art, prover­bially, is long, so that translation, in so far as it is an art, should also be timeless, persistently reappearing as an inevitable response to stimuli felt by succeeding generations. For every generation hankers for translation in the grand sense—bold reinterpretation attempted and fruitful· interconnections between one language and another made by a mind thoroughly acquainted with both. In this new collection of Premchand stories, the translators, P. Lal and Nandini Nopany, seem to be attempting something between a re-interpretation and a translation—a ‘transcreation’, as they are fond of calling it. This method of undertaking the business of translation has obvious advantages—apart from the fact that the text is likely to maintain the verve and flow of the original, it also allows the translator to transmit to the reader something of his own creative ex­perience of the book. For reading is also, a creative activity, though not as much as writing a passage.

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