Saturday, March 20, 2010

BAUDELAIRE : FIRST SUBALTERN POET



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Blogger SUDIPTA MUNSI said...

A Review of
“Baudelairer Lipika: Paris Spleen”
Translated by Gautam Paul,
Ananda Publishers, 2010.
Price: 200 INR


The work under review is the first complete Bengali translation of Charles Baudelaire’s Paris Spleen, by Prof. Gautam Paul, Guest Lecturer, Post-Graduate Department of French, University of Calcutta.

Every Bengali-speaking people should be thankful to Prof. Gautam Paul for producing such a literary, yet quite readable translation of the Paris Spleen. The translator’s contention that it is the first subaltern poetry of the world provides enough impetus for further exploration of this particular aspect of this work of Baudelaire. Moreover, the learned translator is of the opinion that only a close reading of it convinces us of the popular misconception that Baudelaire is a poet of sexuality, and nothing but sexuality. The introduction, in spite of its small compass (be it remembered herein, the present work does not pretend to be a critical edition of the text, accompanied by Bengali translation, which the translator could have used for earning a Ph. D. of some university), presents essential information regarding the background – mental, literary – which shaped the fate of the Spleen. The section dealing with the probable influence of Baudelaire on Tagore’s Lipikâ, albeit scrappiness, readily stimulates one towards further research, and it would be extremely scholarly of Prof. Paul if he publishes a booklet / monograph on this. The notes appended to the translation, though brief, are happily able to acquaint the general reader with the keynote of the passage glossed.

Coming to the language used for the translation, it is gratifying to find that the learned translator has shown much skill in creating verbal patterns by a judicious blending of literary Bengali with colloquial and spoken ones. Such a balanced translation as the present one is therefore quite successful in becoming a repository of intricate aesthetic experiences, and stirring up the minds of readers, otherwise constitutionally unfit for poetry, thus bearing the stamp of its livingness. As such Prof. Gautam Paul is to be congratulated upon his brilliant achievement.

Sudipta Munsi

6:24 PM  

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