"TSAR is changing our understanding of the Canadian literary
landscape through its innovative publications."
— Canadian Literature
In Our Translated World
Reviewed by R.S.Sugirtharajah
|This collection brings together
nearly eighty poems by Tamils from Sri Lanka, India,
Malaysia and Singapore and the Tamil Diaspora dispersed in
Europe, the Americas and Australia. As the editor, Chelva
Kanganayagam, says in his deceptively erudite and witty
introduction, this is not a historical record but a
contemporary testament to the poetic impulses of the Tamils
in their effort to articulate their identity in an
increasingly interconnected and yet isolated world. This
commanding and seductive volume is the product of the
vigorous efforts of the Tamil Literary Garden, Canada,
whose efficiency, transparency and integrity have become an
enviable benchmark among the literary organizations in the
Tamil speaking world. This distinctive volume is modelled
on the Harvard Loeb Classical Library series, where the
original text is placed side by side with the English
translation. The juxtaposition of the original and the
translated texts will enable readers to see for themselves
the different hermeneutical strategies employed by the
translators to arrive at their creative and imaginative
solution. These poems show that there are no such things as
In a brief review like this, it is not easy to do justice to each of these poets and their poetical experimentations. The volume deals with weighty issues - migration and exile; loss of love and land; clash of native and cosmopolitan values; the nostalgic yearning for the past and the uncertainty of future prospects, confidence and trepidation in transacting daily routines, the intricate interface between native innocence and urban unease. What comes out clearly through these poems is not only the anxiety and humour but above all the humanity of the Tamils.
As the reader will note, this volume is not a simple, straightforward translation but an act of creative, imaginative re-enactment. The translators have ruthlessly dissected the original and elevated the key narrative movements and striking idioms so that they appear dazzlingly fresh. Their translations are a witness to the emotional power of words and language. Anthea Bell, a long time translator, once commented that "translators are in the business of spinning an illusion. The illusion is that the reader is reading not a translation but the real thing". These thee translators,- Thangappa, Ramaswamy, Thayanithy-, have spun plenty of illusions for the reader. Be prepared to be mesmerized.
University of Birmingham
TSAR books can be ordered directly from this site, from your favourite bookstore, retail website, or wholesaler. Order your books from TSARbooks.com and receive Free Shipping. We guarantee availability of all titles currently in print when ordered through this website.