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Saturday, October 13, 2012

Call for help - Poetry, Music & Translation

My task:
I am looking (have been looking for a week now with little success) for a Kannada poem (any time period/poet).
It must have explicit references to music (need not be the central theme though).
Finally, it must have a translation published in English (preferably from a published book, but academic journals are fine too)

My purpose:
I am a student of Comparative Literature in the UK and have opted for a course called "Poetry, Music, and Translation". This is the topic for a seminar presentation I'll be doing. Unfortunately, gathering resources in Kannada Literature is very difficult and way too expensive for my student's budget in the UK, so I appeal to anybody interested in the same field to kindly help out.

(I could use a Hindi poem for which resources are readily available. But I personally think it's time Kannada Literature made its presence felt at my university, which I was digruntled to see didn't have a SINGLE book on Kannada translations but had plenty in Hindi, Tamil, Malayalam, Bengali, Oriya, and what not - it's definitely personal for me now!)

I intend to compare the Kannada poem with its English translation and identify the issues in translating the following aspects:
Formal composition:
rhythm and rhyme, if any; syllable composition; etc. - CAN these aspects be translated? If yes, how?

Is there anything about the poem and its references to music that suggests there is an essential link between music and poetry? Are there parallels suggested between poetry and music? If yes, how do these parallels between music and poetry relate to the formal aspects of the poetry? How does the translation attempt to convey all of the same?

The time-frame:
I would really appreciate it if anybody could make any suggestions about the same, or generously mail me any resources they have come across, by 21 Oct, (next Sunday).
My email:

Thank you and keeping my fingers crossed here! Divya.


Shabnam Shaheen said...

Divya, Here is the beginning: if you are interested in medieval Kannada literature then, you can consider Basavanna's vacana 'enna kaayava danDigeya maaDayya'. The audio version is sung by "Basavaraj Rajaguru' and is available on the web. The English translation is available in Rananujan's (1963) "Speaking of Shiva".
courtesy Prof. T S Satyanath's timeline, you can check it on fb also

Divya said...

Hi Shabnam,
Thank you for getting in touch! Yes, I heard from Prof. Satyanath himself. He was very kind in mailing me some excellent suggestions and sources.

Basavanna's vachanas are something I'd like to work on, and on the lookout for publications here in Edinburgh that have the Kannada version. But if I can't find it, then I'll just have to write it down myself I suppose, although that wouldn't be ideal.

Would you know of any online sources where I can access the Kannada versions?

Thank you very much again for your kind help! :)