Srinagar, Dec 8: To promote indigenous literature, broadening its audience and to establish a prominent place for Kashmiri literature on the global literary landscape, the Department of English, Kashmir University (KU) Friday unveiled three books focusing on literary translations from Kashmiri into English and Persian into Urdu.
The event is a tribute to the literary icons of Kashmir – Ghani Kashmiri, Mahmud Gami and Rahman Rahi, a significant contribution to world literature, showcasing the rich cultural heritage of Kashmir through the works of renowned literary figures.
The three books unveiled include: ‘The Vyeth is Not Asleep,’ ‘Aatash-e-Toor’ and ‘Yusuf’s Fragrance.’
‘The Vyeth is Not Asleep,’ is a translation of Rahman Rahi’s poetry and the publication includes critical introduction, a glossary, the original Kashmiri text and English translations of a substantial collection of Rahi’s poetic works.
‘Aatash-e-Toor,’ the Urdu translation of Tahir Ghani Kashmiri’s ‘Deewan’ includes introductory insights and explanatory notes, marking the first complete Urdu translation of Ghani’s ‘Deewan’.
‘Yusuf’s Fragrance,’ published by Penguin Books in its prestigious ‘black classics’ list, introduces Mahmud Gami, one of the eminent poets of the Kashmiri language, to English readers. The book encompasses a significant corpus of Gami’s poetry, around 2750 verses, accompanied by a comprehensive introduction, a first-of-its-kind contribution to understanding Gami’s literary legacy.
On the occasion, KU Vice Chancellor, Prof Nilofer Khan, said the varsity aims to promote indigenous literature, widen its audience by encouraging the young writers to showcase their talent and providing them the required pivot and platform.
“We hope this will create a space for Kashmiri literature on the world literary map and give it due recognition,” Prof Khan said, hoping the legacy of translation as a constructive and meaningful dialogue between languages and cultures would be continued. Dean, Academic Affairs, KU, Prof Farooq Ahmad Masoodi, said that authors have a big responsibility in translating the works they undertake while ensuring the spirit of the source is not lost during the whole process.
Eminent academic, translator and former Head, Department of English, Government College for Women, M A Road, Srinagar, Prof Neerja Mattoo said translation is not an easy job as one has to “submerge into it and forget themselves” keeping in mind the sensitivity of the original poet.
Prominent literary critic, translator and former Head, Department of Kashmiri, KU, Prof Shafi Shauq highlighted the works of Rahman Rahi who in his poetry “consciously used ambiguity.”
Former Head, Department of English, Prof Nusrat Jan, said that translation is an important academic engagement now and these events provide the young talent an opportunity to express their skills before a wider audience.
Acknowledging translation as a pivotal element in literary studies, Head, Department of English, KU, Prof Iffat Maqbool said the department recognises the evolution of translation into a full-fledged discipline.
“Translation has been our focus as it serves as a bridge for cross-cultural dialogues, enabling a deeper understanding and appreciation of diverse literary traditions and cultures,” she said.
While sharing insights into the inspiration behind translating the books, faculty, Department of English, KU, Prof Mudasir Mufti, author ‘Aatash-e-Toor,’ ‘Yusuf’s Fragrance’ and co-author ’The Vyeth is not Asleep,’ underlined the significance of translations in the contemporary times.
Senior faculty, Department of English, Dr Tasleem A War conducted the proceedings of the event and also delivered the formal vote of thanks.
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