Saturday, February 11, 2012

[ZESTCaste] Writings on the Margin

Writings on the Margin
Feb 11, 2012, 11.42AM IST

KOLKATA: In a multilingual and multicultural society, translation is
required to build bridges and overcome gaps; such was the verdict at a
thought-provoking two day session on translation issues, organised by
the Centre of Advanced Study in Comparative Literature, Jadavpur

A panel discussion on Translating Dalit Literature on January 31 at
the Buddhadeva Bose Sabhaghar was followed by a public lecture on
Translation: Roles, Responsibilities and Boundaries by Norfolk-based
translator Lakshmi Holmstrom on February 1 at the Vivekananda Hall.

Chaired by Mandira Sen of Stree publishers, the panelists for the
discussion were Lakshmi Holmstrom, who is in Kolkata as visiting
fellow at the Centre of Advanced Study in Comparative Literature, Dr
Brati Biswas, professor, Delhi University and Dr Ramnika Gupta, social
activist and president of the Ramnika Foundation.

The panel discussion concentrated on the linguistic, economic and
social aspects of translation of the literature of the oppressed, the
Dalits, into an international language like English. The stress was on
the interactive nature of translation which has the responsibility and
ability to increase and deepen the readership of Dalit literature.
Holmstrom said, Dalit writing is not only breaking a mainstream
aesthetic but also proposing a new one. It is the exploration of the
self and community. One of the aims of Dalit writing is to awaken

Dr Biswas who has researched on Dalit writings in Bengali commented,
Dalit writing creates a global bridge between all the marginal groups
across the world though strategies of dominance and discrimination
differ locally. Dr Gupta was of the opinion that translation is a
moral duty and it helps us to widen our mind, get acquainted with
other cultures and learn about new perspectives.

The lecture, which was chaired by Sanjukta Dasgupta, former dean of
arts, Calcutta University, focused on the intellectual as well as
functional issues regarding translation. Holmstrom explored the
relationship between the translator and the author, publisher and
editor along with the ownership of the text and the ethics of
translation. Translators need to take their profession seriously,
honing skills, attending courses and reading widely, signed off


Recent Activity:
Get all ZESTCaste mails sent out in a span of 24 hours in a single mail. Subscribe to the daily digest version by sending a blank mail to, OR, if you have a Yahoo! Id, change your settings at

On this list you can share caste news, discuss caste issues and network with like-minded anti-caste people from across India and the world. Just write to

If you got this mail as a forward, subscribe to ZESTCaste by sending a blank mail to OR, if you have a Yahoo! ID, by visiting

Also have a look at our sister list, ZESTMedia:


No comments:

Post a Comment

Blog Archive