Translating the Orient

Edited by Madhu Benoit, Susan Blattès and GJV Prasad


"Hence the vanity of translation; it were as wise to cast a violet into a crucible that you might discover the formal principle of its colour and odour, as seek to transfuse from one language into another the creations of a poet. The plant must spring again from its seed, or it will bear no flower - and this is the burthen of the curse of Babel." (Shelley, A Defence of Poetry)

Although Shelley may have considered the task of translating literature from one language to another as impossible (hence the image of the violets in a crucible), this volume argues otherwise. Looking at a variety of translations from and into different languages, across the ages and across continents (both eastwards and westwards), this collection insists not only on the necessity of translation, its potential for undoing the curse of Babel and opening doors to other cultures, but also on its potential to give rise to works which have their own literary or cultural merit.

Madhu Benoit is Professor Emeritus in English and Postcolonial Studies, University Grenoble Alpes. Her doctoral thesis was on the political aspect of Shelley's work, with a special focus on his influence on M.K. Gandhi. Her publications include Sir William Jones et la representation de l'Inde (2011); and several articles on Shelley, feminism and contemporary Indian literature and civilization. She has co-edited with Jean-Pierre Benoit, Non-violence: combats d'hier et de demain: non-violence et traits culturels et identitaires dans le monde globalisé du XXIe (2017); with Belkacem Belmekki, Michel Naumann and Joëlle Weeks, La Terre, Question Vitale au XXIe siècle (2012); with Susanne Berthier et Linda Carter, 'Sites de résistance - stratégies textuelles (2006).

Susan Blattès is Professor of English Studies at Université Grenoble-Alpes. She is the president of RADAC (Recherches sur les Arts Dramatiques Anglophones Contemporains) which publishes a journal Coup de Théâtre. She has published widely on theatre and performance. Selected publications include: '"Character in contemporary theatre: is the concept still relevant?" Drama and/after Postmodernism'. "A Parting of Ways or a Crossing of Paths? India and Britain in David Edgar's Destiny", in History/Stories of India.

GJV Prasad is Professor of English at Jawaharlal Nehru University. He is the present Editor JSL and Chairperson of IACLALS. His area of research work includes Postcolonial Literatures,Indian Writing in English, Contemporary Theatre, Indian Literatures, Australian Drama, and Translation Studies. His publications include Writing India Writing English: Literature, Language, Location, Routledge, 2011; and Translation and Culture: Indian Contexts (ed) Pencraft International, 2010.


Madhu Benoit, Dhananjay Singh, Harish Trivedi, Michel Naumann, Rekha Rajan, Geetha Ganapathy-Doré, Kumarasamy Pugazhendhi, Shoba Sivasankaran, Samanthi Jayawardena, Helen Goethals, Makiko Yamanashi, Laurence Chamlou, Sonia Farid, Nadia Fayidh Mohammed, Susan Blattès.
ISBN: 978-93-82178-28-6             2019      224 pages      Rs. 800 (hb)