Friday, January 1, 2016

too sexy Tagore

BEIJING — A Chinese publisher has recalled the latest Chinese-language translation of a work by Indian poet Rabindranath Tagore, after it drew sharp criticism in India that it is too vulgar and strays too far from the original text....
“This incident raises questions about the role of the translator in relation to the author and what [Feng Tang's] motives were,” said Radha Chakravarty, a Tagore scholar who teaches in the Ambedkar University in New Delhi. “Was it about marketability? Was it to push its sales? Or was it an attempt at satire, at lampooning Tagore?”
“It also raises questions about authorship authority and where does liberty end and where does license begin when we talk of creative freedom and creative expression,” the scholar said....
 “History and literature will make their judgments,” Feng Tang told the state-owned digital media The Paper. “Let time speak. Let the work itself speak.”
If words themselves cannot reach, how are new words to fare much better?

1 comment:

  1. Well, translating “The world takes off its mask of vastness for its lover” as “The world unzipped his pants in front of his lover.” seemed off the mark to me.

    But i remember a tale, true or not, that in negotiations with the ruskies an american diplomat used the dismissive phrase "out of sight, out of mind", that was translated as "invisible crazy". One can only imagine the expressions of "WTF" that followed.