July 24, 2021

KITAAB

Connecting Asian writers with global readers

Lust in translation: Eroticising Tagore’s poetry in China

1 min read

Raymond Zhu on the Tagore translation controversy in China

tagoreThere’s a fine line between imprinting creative works with unique personality and screamingfor attention. Feng Tang just crossed it, when he translated Tagore’s tranquil verse into avulgar selfie of hormone saturated innuendo.

Classical literature deserves more than one translation.

Rarely does one language have the exact equivalent for every word, phrase or concept inanother language.

So even the best translators have to choose what is most important or relevant in the originaland attempt to find the expressions in the target language deemed to overlap the most withthe original. The choices can be subjective.

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