Reception of Literatures of Africa into Bangla: A Case Study

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Soma Mukherjee


Study of literary relations plays an important role in the domain of Comparative Literature. Tracing the journeys of literary texts, traditions, movements can be one example through which one can substantiate the many aspects of literary relations. In the multilingual context of literary relations or contacts, translation plays a role of mediator where different languages and literatures interact with each other.

During colonial history, literatures from both sides, i.e colonizer and colonized were translated into multiple languages. Interestingly, in the colonial as well as in ‘postcolonial’ periods different colonial geographical spaces interact with each other through translated literatures. There are instances where texts, authors from Africa, Latin America were translated into different Indian Languages. For example  – Professor Manabendra Bandyopadhyay translated texts extensively from literatures of Latin America, critically analysed texts from Africa. There were translators like Dhruba Gupta who translated Amos Tutuola’s The Palm Wine Drinkard into Bangla. In later point of time several writers like Tayeb Salih, Chinua Achebe, Wole Soyinka, Ngugi wa Thiong’O’s writings were translated into Bangla.

In this paper, I will analyse these translated texts and will delve into the issues such as politics of translation in the ‘third world’, language politics in colonial situation, role of translation in dissemination of texts, traditions in different locations such as India and Africa etc. More importantly the objective would be to analyse how these translated texts of Africa can be a case study of ‘contact and reception’ of different colonial histories.


Published: Nov 14, 2022

Article Details

South Asian Visions of Africa and African/Diasporic Literatures