Polemics of Translation
by A. Banerjee , , pp.,
September 2006, volume 30, No 9

Translating India: The Cultural Politics of English is concerned with the produc- tion of the body of writing referred to as Indian Literature in English Translation or ILET. Rita Kothari offers a concise overview of the political and economic ideologies underlying translation activity in English in India, ‘what goes into feeding it’ and ‘the quarters that gives this industry its present prominence and help sustain its energy.’ She traces the development of ILET as a body ‘that is substantial and distinct’, and suggests that ‘its unprecedented rise from being a marginalized event to a pervasive trend’ over the last two decades is a phenomenon worth close attention (p.2). In order to contextualize her readings, Kothari begins with a trajectory of the politics of translation into English from the 19th century onwards, discusses the cultural politics of English in India in immediate postcolonial India, and then focuses on the emerging phenomenon of a ‘new openness’ to English translation post 1990s, since when it has been ‘striding along energetically with focussed planning and publicity’ (p.46).

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