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Thread: Best short stories for translation

  1. #1
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    Best short stories for translation

    Topic started by hub admin (@ siebel200.siebel.com) on Tue Jan 16 13:58:06 .


    Iyal, a newly established trust, is planning to publish an anthology of some of the best of tamil short stories translated to english. Your input is needed. What are the best short stories in tamil literature, in your opinion? Any genre is welcome. This thread will also help people to get an introduction to the best short stories in our literature and read them.




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    Vassan (@ sdn-*) on: Tue Jan 16 19:54:39 EST 2001




    Balaji Wrote:

    .."Iyal, a newly established trust, is planning to publish an anthology of some of the best of tamil short stories translated to english. Your input is needed.."

    I'm not sure if Balaji is talking about short stories that have
    been translated "already" or the ones that might qualify for a translation to English...

    Assuming Iyal is trying to collect a list of Tamil Short stories for translation,here is a partial list...[imho]



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    ujhjnuuok (@ dsl-*) on: Tue Jan 16 22:36:19 EST 2001




    jkmkk





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    bb (@ sieb*) on: Wed Jan 17 12:55:16 EST 2001




    vassan, we are talking about stories that will be good for translation. looking for more recommendations from you. i will put a permanent list here at the end as a reference for beginners.





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    Pasupathy (@ pcpa*) on: Wed Jan 17 16:08:11 EST 2001




    Balaji,
    I think it is useful to see what is out there first..both in Tamil and in English. Didn't ka.naa.subramaniyam translate some Tamil stories into English? What about various Tamil collections like
    Asokamithran's , Akilan's and saa.kandhasaamy
    (for Sahitya Academi..which led to controversy)..
    (I have seen reference to these in a recent Kumudam interview with writer Samudhram..).Should not these be first translated ? They have been chosen by well-known authors who probably have read a lot more than many of us...

    A less controversial attempt is to identify the 'best' short story writers and choose one story for each...





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    bb (@ sieb*) on: Thu Jan 18 12:39:53 EST 2001




    Pasupathi, this is the list that sujatha had given in his vikatan article (kaRRadhum peRRadhum).
    pudhumaip piththan - manidha iyandhiram
    ku.pa.rajagOpaalan - vidiyumaa
    thi.jaa - silirppu
    laa.sa.raa - kottu mELam
    ku.azhagirisaami - anbaLippu
    su.raa - prasaadham
    a.maadhavan - naayanam
    JK - agni pravEsam
    JM - pallakku
    vaNNadaasan - nilai
    krishnan nambi - marumagaL vaakku
    naanjil naadan - vaakkup porukkigaL
    ashOkamiththran - pulik kalaignan
    krishnamurthy - manidhargaL
    IP - asalum nagalum
    iraa. murugan - uththaraayaNam
    su.samudhram(!) - naangaavadhu kuRRachchaattu
    raa.ki.ra - seidhi
    thangarbachchaan - kudi mundhiri
    sivasankari - septic
    rajam krishnan - maavilaith thOraNam
    prabanjan - meen
    ki.raa - kadhavu
    sundharapaaNdiyan - kaLavu
    vaNNanilavan - esther
    dhileep kumar - kadidham
    chO.dharuman - nasukkam
    nagore rUmi - kuttiyaappaa
    ramachandra vaidhdhiyanaadhan - naadaak kaarargaL
    baamaa - aNNaachchi
    sujatha - mahabali






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    Pasupathy (@ pas.*) on: Sat Jan 20 10:09:17




    Balaji,
    Thanks ..the list looks pretty good.Perhaps it really relects the post-Independence period nicely. What about early years ? Should not they be represented as well? ( See , e.g. the many
    volumes of Story Collections published by Alliance. To my knowledge, they have issued Four 'KataikkOvai's. Each contains more than 50 stories ..all by different writers. I think their effort is very laudable since it is perhaps the first such one by any Book Publisher ...in such exhaustive manner. But I am sure those selections will not match Sujatha's list! )

    The following concerns remain in my mind.
    1. Difficulty in preparing "the best" list. This is similar to "best" pictures... the judgement of peers ( supposedly Oscar), judgement of Critics (Critics' Choice Awards), Popular Choice etc. All
    will differ many times.
    In Tamil fiction, rightnow we do not have a good mechanism for polling a large number of readers. If all the Tamil magazines (with Web presence) start a best story of the Year poll, slowly we may get a list of "best" from each Magazine according to Readers' choice. I am told that an organization ( Crea? Ilakkiya Vattam ?) meets regularly in Chennai to choose the best story of the year in a particular magazine. Such efforts are all to be encouraged. Finally critics, Tamil Writers' Assn etc should also start awarding Prizes every year.. look at Mystery Writers' Assn in USA... .
    2. Another question: Such a translation is aiming at which audience? Will the reader have the background to understand the cultural background of the stories or does one need 'footnotes' and explanations... Even very good translations of Tamil works suffer in this regard. e.g. Prof Zvelebil's translation of U.vE.sA's autobiography ..there are a lot of details which will leave the uninitiated reader completely lost... One needs an Annotated Translation to cross the cultural divide. In fact, such annotation is needed even for Tamil readers of the same book !
    3. Since it is a popular name or a prestigious panel which will usually sell such Translations, the best course of action..may very well be to choose a well-respected author/critic and go with his/her list.At least the name will sell the book. ( When I buy Best Mystery Stories collections, I usually go this route. ..go with the choice of a person I respect..)






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    Kanchana (@ spid*) on: Sat Jan 20 11:48:43




    Pasupathy,

    "ilakkiya sinthanai" is the organization which meets every month to choose the story of the month from all the published stories in that particular month; an interesting aspect is that readers are used to select the stories. Finally, the best story of the month is chosen from these 12. All the twelve are published by Vaanathi Pathippagam every year. (thiru. Vaasan's list above reflect some of the chosen stories from ilakkiya sindhanai--I don't know if he's aware of it.)

    Thiruppur Thamizh Sangam, Katha, lilly vinaayagam Trust(hope I got that right!), Kalki/ Kumudam/ Kanaiyaazhi competitions, and several other Trusts recognize short stories in their own ways.

    There are some anthologies which can be used as references too, compiled by Asokamithran, Dilipkumar, Sa.Kandhasamy, Pirabanchan, and those published by organizations by ilakkiya sindhanai, Sahitya Academy and kuRaL peedam. Given the rich diversity of contemporary Tamil short fiction, there are several criteria which can be used to define and tailor an anthology; I personally believe the final decision always rests with the Editor(s) regardless of whether the nominations are obtained from a prestigious panel, people's panel, or through a one-person selection, as long as the criteria are defined well.

    You are right about the translation being able to communicate to an "outside" audience effectively. I've heard many critics say that this is where several translations of contemporary tamil works fail to date. I have no comments on these critiques since I've read the Thamizh originals only.

    An aside:
    Writer Sujatha selects "mahaabali" from his written works in the A-V list. I personally would pick a story like "nakaram", which had a tremendous impact on me as a reader. Some other reader may pick yet another story. An interesting learning by itself.





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    r.- (@ dhcp*) on: Sat Jan 20 14:40:31




    kanchana,
    you said, "lilly vinaayagam Trust (hope I got that right!)"
    or, is it Lilly Devasigamani Trust??





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    vj (@ pmu8*) on: Sat Jan 20 20:48:09




    I read a translation of Na. Muthuswamy's stories. (I think the translation was by someone called Lakshmi Holstrom). The stories were very interesting.. particularly Death (Ezhuppu?), Who shall be my refuge? (Yaar thunai?). I though the translations were rather too raw. If your goal is to translate the 'best' so far in Tamil short fiction , do consider this writer.

    Vijay





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