Saturday, March 6, 2010

Good, trashy, popular

Hindi and Tamil pulp fiction, in translation, is winning converts among English readers

The just-concluded Kala Ghoda Arts Festival in Mumbai saw the launch of Surender Mohan Pathak’s latest pulp fiction novel, Daylight Robbery, in English translation. Pathak’s novels were all originally written in Hindi, and have only recently been translated into English to reach a wider audience.

Pathak’s books aren’t alone when it comes to translations from Indian languages to English in this genre. Random House India has also jumped onto the translation bandwagon and will soon produce, for example, translated volumes of Urdu writer Ibn-e-Safi’s Jasoosi Duniya series.

Is it paradoxical that vernacular pulp fiction is being rediscovered at the same time as Indian literary writing in English is growing popular. Literary critic (and Business Standard columnist) Nilanjana S Roy does not think so. She says, “It’s just a sign that we do have a wide readership in India which reads in English, and which is looking for a variety of reading that hasn’t been provided by Indian literary fiction in English.” According to her, the response to pulp fiction has been good because “this is what has been missing from the IWE [Indian writing in English] scene — good, trashy, popular writing”.

Full report here Business Standard

No comments:

Post a Comment