இன்னம்பூரான்Wednesday the 25th February 2015
“Translation is that which transforms everything so that nothing changes.”
Günter Grass is a globally-renowned creative writer, who won the Nobel Prize for his ‘The Tin Drum’. The citation praised his “frolicsome black fables (that)portray the forgotten face of history”. He hails from the literary movement: ‘coming to terms with the past (vergangenheitsbewältigung). He is a well- translated author and the quote is significant as his original texts invariably posed a challenge to the translators.
Excellent translations, like the ones that we find in the Katha volumes in our library are actually transcreations that do not stick to a word-by-word translation, but manage to transform and convey the author’s creation in such a chaste form that it looks as though the author himself wrote in a language with which he is unfamiliar.
FN: We lost Günter Grass after I wrote this. In Homage, I place his picture on top.
Image Credit: http://static01.nyt.com/images/2010/11/14/books/review/Mohr-t_CA0/Mohr-t_CA0-popup.jpg