ID :
Mon, 05/11/2009 - 16:58
Auther :

400-yr-old Spanish tale brought back to life in Bengali

New Delhi, May 11 (PTI) The long lost Bengali
translation of Spanish writer Miguel de Cervantes' famous 16th
century novel 'Adventures of Don Quixote de la Mancha' has
seen light of the day again.
'Adbhut Digvijay' (Strange Conquest), the 1887 Bengali
translation of the Spanish text by Bipin Bihari Chacrabarty
has been re-edited by S P Ganguly, a professor of Latin
American studies at Jawaharlal Nehru University here in
India's national capital. It was relaunched here recently.
"The Spanish text is an absolute treasure-house and
Bipin Bihari's translation is equally captivating. I was drawn
towards the book by it's sheer magical narrative," says
"It is a pity that it has remained neglected
althrough. The text can be of great help in comparative
culture and translation studies offering various perspectives
of many modern theoretical issues," he told PTI.
The Bengali translation tells the story of Kanti Ram,
a Kshatriya (the Bengali Don Quixote), who decides to crusade
against evil to deliver the world to light, with his family
arms -- a sword, a shield and a compass along with his friend,
Golok Chand (Sancho Panza), a country rustic.
Ganguly says it had been a tough task to gather the
lost prints of the more than 100 year old Bengali translation
and believed the time had come to have a re-look at our
ancient texts from a modern viewpoint.
"We must look at our old texts beyond the often
practices dichotomy of the classical vs the modern," he says.
"In this era of globalisation, translation studies can
go a long way in better communication, and professor Ganguly's
endeavour is a wonderful gesture towards the same," says
Gitanjali Chatterjee, Deputy Secretary of Sahitya Academy.
Namwar Singh, a professor at the School of Modern
Indian Languages, JNU, believes it is a memorable moment in
the history of Indian Literature.
"This reprint of Don Quixote's tales is of importance
and it's historical significance cannot be denied in any way.
It should go a long way in bringing forward the legacy of the
Spanish original," he says.
Oscar Pujol, Director of Istituto Cervantes, a Spanish
Institute in the city, says, "We are overwhelmed that our very
own Cervante's work is made available to the Indian readers
once again and professor Ganguly was the best man to give a
new lease of life to the Bengali translation." PTI