Anglophone Interventions: A post-colonial analysis of translating Tagore’s Gitanjali poem “Aji Jharer Rate Tomar Abhisar” in English
Abstract: I intend to study three translations, which includes Rabindranath Tagore’s prose-translation in Gitanjali: Song Offerings (1912), Brother James Talarovic’s Christianized translation in Show Yourself to My Soul (1983) and William Radice’s contemporary initiative in Gitanjali: Rabindranath Tagore (2011), of Tagore’s poem “Aji Jharer Rate Tomar Abhisar” to analyze the relation of the translations with the original. Identifying them as Anglophone translations, I have tried to analyze the rationale behind these translations. By incorporating Naomi Seidman’s viewpoints in Faithful Renderings: Jewish Christian Difference and the Politics of Translation, I have traced the colonized, Christian missionary, and capitalist motives of the translations. Seidman’s analysis of the strategic ambivalence Jewish translators adopted to confront the hegemony Christian discourse uses postcolonial theory to understand the unequal relation between the source language and target language. In my analysis of the translations of “Aji Jharer Rate Tomar Abhisar,”I have identified an unequal transaction between the original Bengali poems and the translations, which also illustrate the translators’ colonialist strategy to make an unfamiliar culture resonate with the sensibilities of English-speaking poetry-lovers.
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Published in 2014