Sunday, September 4, 2011

'We're showcasing Indian heritage to the world'

Imagine being able to read the Bangla classic Mangal Kavya or the Tamil epic Kambha Ramayanam in the original language as well as English on facing pages of the same book. Last year when Rohan Murty, son of Infosys chairman emeritus N R Narayana Murthy, donated $5.2 million to Harvard University so that it could set up the Murty Classical Library of India (MCLI), it was perhaps a great move to revive classical Indian literature and showcase it to a global audience. Sharmila Sen, executive editor-at-large at Harvard University Press, Massachusetts, who was in Bangalore explains the process involved for the classic series that will roll out in 2013.Excerpts:

What is the Murty Classical Library of India all about?
The whole idea is to provide new English language translations of works in Bangla, Hindi, Pali, Panjabi, Persian, Sanskrit, Tamil, and other Indian languages, with the original text on the facing page. At present, even Indians don't have access to great Indian literature. Even if it's available, it's locked in the original language. The MCLI will present these texts in English and those who cannot read the original script can now read it. The books will provide up-to-date English translations of classical works, many for the first time, across the Indian language spectrum -- Kannada to Persian to Sanskrit. The series is intended to showcase for the first time on a major scale the multilingual literary treasures of the Indian past.

Full interview here Times of India 

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