The road less travelled: Pather Panchali in translation

Tickell, Alex (2000). The road less travelled: Pather Panchali in translation. Journal of Commonwealth Literature, 35(1) pp. 147–162.



In this essay, which reads takes the translation of Bhibhutibhushan Bandopadhyay's 1928 novel Pather Panchali by T.W. Clark and Tarapada Mukherji as its subject, I reflect on the politics of translation in postcolonial studies and examine the critical difficulties of working with translated texts. Drawing on theories of translation by Gayatri C. Spivak and Sujit Mukherjee, my essay problematises assumptions about cultural purity and integrity implict in the act of translation, and underlines tendencies in postcolonial anglophone literature to manipulate difference in order to foreground the process of cultural translation. My discussion goes on to draw out the implications of translation for the supression or marginalising of cultural and linguistic hybridity in regional and national narratives.

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