The Agony and Ecstasy of Translation
This is a freewheeling session about the act and art of translation as a practice. Two eminent and award-winning translators would reflect on their practice as translators, their styles; what they choose to translate, and what they do not.
V Ramaswamy has translated into English, almost without exception, some of the most underappreciated work in Bengali literature. His early fame rested on having brought the unapologetically avant-garde Subimal Mishra to the English tongue; which was followed, somewhat naturally, by Shahidul Zahir, Adhir Biwas, Shahaduz Zaman, and Manoranjan Bapari. He has held residencies at Sangam House, University of Liberal Arts, Dhaka, and Ledig House, New York among others; and has been awarded a Charles Wallace Fellowship, The PEN Presents Award from PEN, UK, and the New India Foundation Translation Fellowship. He lives in Kolkata.
Amrita Bera’s world of translation involves three languages – Hindi, English, and Bengali, across which she has published nine volumes of translations. She has also been translating, for over a decade, Taslima Nasreen’s column to Hindi for Hans, the preeminent Hindi literary magazine. Her Hindi translation of the acclaimed Bengali novel Dozakhnama was adjudged the best Hindi translation of 2015, and won her the Kamala Goenka Foundation Award. The Hindi translation of the first part of Bapari’s novel has fetched her the Valley of Words – Shabdawali award in 2023. Amrita lives in Delhi.