Translation and Transnationalism: A study of memory, migration and spirit translation

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Gouri Parvathy V


Translation is often understood as a transfer of a text in a language into another. But is it the only type of translation that exists? What of something that can be described a spirit translation. A translation where the language does not change, but the spirit of one language is drawn into the corporeal self of another language. Quite often transnationalism becomes difficult to identify when only the conventional idea of translation is considered. What remains unexplored is the veritable treasure trove of transnational elements in works that are only translated in spirit. Such spirit translations can be found in several of the works of the early poets in India. Taking into consideration such poets who at the turn of the century are immigrants to a foreign land. A strong yearning for their mother land generates these spirit translated works. These poets now transplanted in a different clime and land write in alien languages acquired secondarily.

This study will primarily attempt to understand the nuances of such works that have the spirit of a language but the body of another. It will further explore the role that such works play in creating and fostering transnationalism. With special emphasis on the poetry of Toru Dutt, the study will juxtapose transnationalism and translation. The major aim of the paper will be to try to establish the role of such spirit translations in fostering transnationalism in the Global South.

Published: Nov 14, 2022

Article Details

Transnationalism and the Languages/Literatures of the Global South: South Asian