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India: Assam Valley Literary Award presented

The Assam Valley Literary Award for year 2016 was presented to prolific writer and a vocal supporter of gender equality, Dr Arupa Patangia Kalita by accomplished Malayalam writer Prof K Satchidanandan at a programme at the Pragjyoti Cultural Complex here (Guwahati) today.

A recipient of the Sahitya Akademi Award, Dr Kalita has an immense body of work to her credit. She has authored several novels and collections of short stories, a number of which have been translated into English, Hindi and Bengali. Works like Mriganabhi, Ayananta, Arunimar Swadesh, Felani, Jaltarangar Sur among others have made her immensely popular among the readers. Her writings have also been included in textbooks.

The Assam Valley Literary Award was instituted in the year 1990 by the Willamson Magor Education Trust with the prime objective of honouring the stalwarts, who have kept alive the richness of Assamese literature and inspired a new generation of creative writers to keep alive Assam’s literary heritage. The award comprises a citation, a trophy and a draft of Rs 4 lakh. Read more

Source: Assam Tribune


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Kiran Doshi wins ‘The Hindu Prize 2016’

Kiran Doshi, a retired diplomat and educationist from Gujarat, won The Hindu Prize 2016 on Sunday for his third major work of fiction, Jinnah Often Came to Our House, a book set against the political turmoil of the subcontinent from the early part of the 20th century, ending with the Partition and Independence.

Mr. Doshi was among the five authors shortlisted from nearly 60 entries for the seventh edition of the prize. The shortlisted works included Anil Menon’s Half Of What I Say, Hansda Sowvendra Shekhar’s The Adivasi Will Not Dance, Kunal Basu’s Kalkatta and Manjula Padmanabhan’s The Island of Lost Girls.

K. Satchidanandan, a member of the jury, pointed to the manner in which Jinnah Often Came to Our House, with its “unbiased wisdom, corrects all kinds of prejudices about political leaders and religious communities.” Read more

Source: The Hindu


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Jaipur Literature Festival dumps ‘award wapsi’ writers, picks up RSS ideologues

Just one month is left for the 10th edition of Jaipur Literature Festival (JLF) and it is already in controversy. This time, for dumping the prominent writers who supported or were a part of the ‘award wapsi’ protest.

That is not it, JLF has included the ideologues of Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) for the upcoming event. Manmohan Vaidya, the head of RSS’s communications department and Dattatreya Hosabale, a joint general secretary of the RSS will be spotted in the 10th edition of Jaipur Literature Festival.

On the other hand, the regular attendees of the event including Ashok Vajpeyi, Uday Prakash and K. Satchidanandan, have not been invited this time around. As the information was circulated, the smart social media users picked up the reason for the growing clout of RSS and absence of regular participants. Read more

Source: India Samvad 


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Journey of a Complete Poet: K Satchidanandan

By Arti Das

poet

Veteran Malayalam poet K Satchidanandan is here at the ongoing Goa Art and Literature Festival (GALF) 2016. In a candid chat with NT BUZZ he speaks about poetry, challenges of translations, socio-political scenario and what it takes to be a complete poet.

Veteran Malayalam poet K Satchidanandan is a pioneer of modern poetry in Malayalam, a bilingual literary critic, playwright, editor, columnist and translator, former editor of Indian Literature journal and the former Secretary of Sahitya Akademi, believes that due to internet and social media there has emerged a new audience for poetry in the country. But, at the same time it has made the world of the poets limited to their comforts of mutual admirations in the virtual world. He says: “Now with internet and especially blogs many poets are getting a platform to publish their work. But, it has made their reach limited. Their work is generally liked and shared by friends and thus there is no meaningful critique of their work, which we were exposed to. This can mislead a poet.” K Satchidanandan is here in Goa for the VII edition of GALF and also to deliver a lecture today at MOG.

Looking at the positives of social media he points out that in Kerala especially among Malayalam poets, they have invented new forms of poetry. Here the poems are presented in a multi-media format with audio-visuals, clipping of a film, painting and even audio recitation of the poetry. All these new formats and democratisation to publish the work is a move to engage the audience and also gives a new lease of life to poetry and also garners a new breed of audience. “It is making popular, accessible and democratic, but may not be raising quality of poetry,” he says. Read more

Source: The Navhind Times


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Essay: Place in the poetry of Jayanta Mahapatra and K Satchidanandan

It is often assumed that to write in or be translated into English makes one “global,” and that to write in a “regional” language is to be more finely attuned to rural, small-town, or at least non-metropolitan India. The regional has two great signposts: language and space. But what if these signposts do not coincide? What of the writer in English who addresses the interior, or the writer in Malayalam who speaks from the metropole? And this doesn’t even begin to exhaust the possible permutations of a writer’s idiom, location and audience. How should we approach the matter of a writer’s relationship with geographical belonging and estrangement, and the literary consequences of it?

Two recent poetry collections—Jayanta Mahapatra’s The Lie of Dawns, and K Satchidanandan’s The Missing Rib—offer an occasion to examine these questions. Mahapatra’s collection consists almost entirely of poems written in English; though he has published extensively in Oriya, this book contains only one poem in translation. The Lie of Dawns is the most comprehensive collection of Mahapatra’s work to date, featuring poems from across a span of 35 years that the poet selected himself. Mahapatra came to poetry relatively late; he was over 40 years old when his first book of poetry, Svayamvara and Other Poems, came out in 1971. But he has been prolific since—according to the Sahitya Akademi, he has published 39 books in total. The Lie of Dawns gives us a fair measure of the range and cadence of the poet’s oeuvre, with many lyric poems and the occasional longer poem, showcasing the sense of inborn melancholy and remembering that is central to his work. It is particularly interesting to examine Mahapatra’s relation to the town of Cuttack, in Odisha, where he has lived almost all his life, and which produces in his poetry a dialectic of alienation and belonging. Read more


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Two authors pull out of JLF London

Two writers, scientist and broadcaster Aarathi Prasad and K. Satchidanandan, a Malayalam and English poet, have pulled out of the  the Jaipur Literature Festival at Southbank, London, in view of its sponsorship by Vedanta Resources – dubbed ‘the world’s most hated company’.

According to the website FoilVedanta, this was the result of an open letter signed by over 100 writers, academics, activists and people directly affected by Vedanta’s operations, including poets Nabina Das, Hemant Devate, Rafiq Kathwari and Surya Vahni Priya Capildeo and writers Tariq Mehmood, Hansda Sowvendra Shekhar, Courttia Newland and Gladson Dungdung.

Responding to the ongoing controversy over sponsors, Sanjoy Roy, the managing director of Teamwork Arts, which produces the festival, issued this statement to the media on behalf of the festival organisers Namita Gokhale and William Dalrymple: ‘While we appreciate the concerns of those who have posted the open letter, we remain an open platform that allows for free thought and expression. Our strength continues to be our programming, the speakers and the quality of free and frank discussions that JLF brings to audiences. Our sponsors do not influence these choices nor have a say in our content.’

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Translation in India: An attempt to retrieve history

In the second and final part of his article, K. Satchidanandan analyses the challenges faced by inter-language translation in India: The Hindu

Translation came to be institutionalised in independent India as a consequence of the State’s perception that emotional integration of India is possible only through the arts. Literature had a major role to play here. The idea of translation thus got linked to the idea of the nation. If nation, as Benedict Anderson says, is an ‘imagined community’, literature plays a role in creating and sustaining that community. India’s linguistic economy underwent a change after 1947 and mother tongues were perceived to be the chief markers of identity and carriers of tradition. Inter-language translation continues to be one of the chief activities of the Sahitya Akademi and National Book Trust, two public institutions created in the times of Jawaharlal Nehru’s liberal and forward-looking regime. Now we also have other national projects like the National Translation Mission, meant to translate knowledge-texts from English into Indian languages (and hopefully vice-versa), and Indian Literature Abroad meant to make significant Indian literary texts available in foreign languages.

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Indian reality, from the margins

Vanitybagh“Vanity Bagh” by Anees Salim and “Foreign” by Sonora Jha are representative of works of many new writers who do not mind taking the risks involved in portraying Indian rural reality in English, writes K. Satchidanandan in the Frontline.

It has been some time since the subcontinental English fiction came of age and began to grapple with Indian history and reality with a confidence and an artistry one seldom comes across in its early practitioners. This new confidence that one first found in writers such as Salman Rushdie, Vikram Seth and Amitav Ghosh marks many of the new writers who do not mind taking the risks involved in portraying Indian rural reality in English: the risk of exoticisation, of the work looking like an inadequate translation, of the difficulty in expressing in English the nuances of rustic life and speech. And, looking at the result, one can well say it has not been a vain adventure: we now have a corpus of such fiction that can legitimately claim to be as much Indian as fiction written in the languages whose losses in texture are compensated to a great extent by the intimate insight into the lives and minds of the men and women who people their ably painted landscapes. Continue reading