About the Book :
Shakespeare in India Languages is a pioneering work which explores the various subtle ways in which the Indian psyche, primarily in its regional manifestations, has assimilated ad made Shakespeare an integral part of its growth towards modernity. By focusing critical attention on the different modes of appropriation, expropriation, adaptation, translation and transformation our indigenous languages have taken recourse to, the volume attempts to present a coherent image of Shakespeare which is markedly and indubitably Indian. It argues, in other words, that our real Shakespeare is unbroken tradition of adaptation of his plays which are, as all translations ought to be, essentially creative interpretations and assessments of Shakespeare mad on indigenous cultural and literary terms. And, again, in this refreshingly original study of Shakespeare's play, it is Anandavardhana, and not Aristotle, who provides the aesthetic basis.
About the Author
D.A. SHANKAR, was educated at the universities of Mysore and Sheffield, U.K. Some time U.G.C. Research Fellow at the University of British Columbia, Canada, and Fellow at the Indian Institute of Advanced Study, Shimla Dr. Shankar was until recently a Professor of English at the University of Mysore. Apart form numerous contributions to journals and periodicals, his publications include Cleanth Brooks: an assessment, Readings and Re-readings (essays in American and Commonwealth Literatures), Appropriating Shakespeare and Carvalho-a translation of the Central Sahitya Akademi award-winning Kannada novel.
A poet and critic in Kannada, Professor Shankar has to his credit Nimmallobba and Pavada (collections of poems), Karibhanta (a collection of plays) and Nirvahane and Vastu Vinyasa (collections of essays in Literary criticism). Among his much reprinted translations may be mentioned Albert Camus's The Outsider,Voltaire's Candide,Mulk Raj Anand's Untouchable and Vidyapati's Purusha Parikshe and Tolstoy's non-fictional prose. He has besides edited a volume of essays Vyakti-Abivyakti in honour of Chanduranga.
Dr. Shankar is currently Visiting Professor of English at the University of Mangalore.
It is said that when Alexander the great left Macedonia on his mission
of conquest he put in his pocket a copy of the Illiad and that it
travelled with him all the then-known world. Maybe this is somebody's
purely fanciful notion of the integrated nature of the culture of
Greece but it is hard to associate even such apocrypha with the
English who came to India in the seventeenth and the eighteenth
centuries. No Shakespeare came with Sir Thomas Roe or Robert
Clive. In fact, to really arrive in India, Shakespeare had to wait till his
countrymen were through with their business of war and commerce
and could get the services of a man like Macaulay who decided that
the Orientals needed to be brought up on a strict diet of English
This initial recuperative step of Macaulay in due course created
the classroom-Shakespeare and the 'Indian edition' of his plays with
'Notes specially prepared for the Indian Student'. Almost simulta-
neously with the classroom Shakespeare, emerged Shakespeare, the
writer for the stage. In big cities like Calcutta, Bombay and Madras
his plays were presented by the self-exiled English for the pleasure of
other self-exiled English. Over the years, these have developed into
Shakespeare Scholarship, Shakespeare Criticism and a tradition of
Shakespeare play-presentation which is neither wholly Western nor
In March 1996, on behalf of the Indian Institute of Advanced
Study, Shimla, and in association with Dhvanyaloka, Mysore Iorganised
a three-day seminar on "Shakespeare in Indian Languages". The
major objective of this seminar was to explore the various subtle ways
in which the Indian psyche, specially in its regional manifestation,
had assimilated and made Shakespeare a natural part of its growth
towards modernity. By focusing critical attention on the different
modes of appropriation, expropriation, adaptation, translation and
transformation our regional languages had taken recourse to, it was
thought a coherent image of an indubitably Indian Shakespeare
would emerge. This specific, informing principle with which the
seminar was conceived also ventured to suggest that the real Indian
Shakespeare was in our regional languages, in our long and unbro-
ken tradition of essentially creative adaptation of his plays which are
- as all true translations ought to be - interpretations and assess-
ments made on indigenous cultural and literary terms. The papers
presented here are to be seen against this light.
While this volume is fairly adequately representative of the perva-
sive presence of Shakespeare in the South Indian languages, it must
be confessed, that it is less so with Shakespeare in the North Indian
languages. A lacuna, I sadly admit.
Gratefully, and with pleasure, I recall the generous help I received
from Professor Mrinal Miri while organising this National Seminar.
It is a cliche but I shall use it as it says what to me is the simple truth;
But for Prof. Miri neither the seminar nor the publication of this
volume would have materialised. Prof. C.D. Narasimhaiah kindly
allowed us to have the seminar at Dhvanyaloka, the literary-cultural
citadel of his at Mysore, and lent, as only he can, to the literary event
his inspiring ambience. It is with pleasure that I thank him. The
publication division of the Institute have done a wonderful job and
I owe it my thanks.
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