Thursday, May 25, 2006

lost in translation?

The 'Legends of Khasak' has been read and loved. A masterpiece. The english translation, by none other than the author himself, i am told is good. The immortal characters, the eternal philosophy just touched upon, I lived in Khasak when I was reading it. In english, it's a great masterpiece (i reapeat) but the how and why the original created a storm in Malayalam literature is lost on you. As much as I understood the book – maybe because I have been to the Palghat area, or because I was born and brought up in a village, or because I know all the cultural/mythological/spiritual references OV makes – at the back of my mind, I felt I was missing something. Something more evocative. Something more closer to the heart. And all because i know not Malayalam. My bad. Because now the heart that wants more wants to read this:
Because at the end of the day, ‘similar’ does not mean ‘same’. Because an imitation, no matter how good and true to the original, is still not the original. Because...'The Legends of Khasak' is not the same as 'Khasakkinte Ithihasam'.

3 comments:

aangtce said...

Of course khasakkinte ithihasam has a native ring to it......
By the way i had no idea you were in kerala for some time....
You need to write up an autobiography and send it to me. hehe:D

Shenoy said...

the differences go far beyond and far deeper than just semantic connotations.
i've been to the palghat area, as i said, never really lived there....

aangtce said...

Oh when i said 'native ring' i was referring to how it sounds... not the semantics by any means....

As for the growing up part...that's my overactive imagination at work as always.......