English translation of 'Ghachar Ghochar' released

Taking the reader through a family's journey from urban lower middle-class to middle-class and the ensuing challenges in coping with the transformation in the lives, Vivek Shanbhag's novella ‘Ghachar Ghochar’ has received much acclaim.

The English translation of the book was officially released here on Tuesday by Jnanpith awardee Girish Karnad. The translation has been done by Srinath Perur.

“If I look back and trace some of the incidents, it goes back to 25 years,” Shanbhag said. Lauding Perur’s translation of the book from Kannada, Shanbhag said that the translator was able to do justice to the “unsaid” aspects of narration. “We all struggle to bring the ‘unsaid’ to the book. It is important that the translator understands that aspect.”

Perur said it was a great choice for a first book to translate. “I was looking for engagement with Kannada. I had lost touch with the language. I could connect with the story as I too come from a middle-class background.”

Some scenes have also been added to the English translation. “I found some spaces in the novel. Now, I cannot think of the novel without those spaces,” the author said. He said the translation was over in 18 months.

Arshia Sattar, translator, author and director, mediated a discussion on the book. Speaking about lack of translators who can do justice to translation of literature from Kannada to English, Karnad said it was difficult to find translators who were at home with English.

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