Episode 42

'Art of Translation'/2 - Dr.Vanamala Viswanatha (Kannada)

In today's Episode Dr.Vanamala Viswanatha Spoke to Harshaneeyam about her journey into world of translations, various aspects of it at Legnth.

An independent scholar and translator, Dr. Vanamala Viswanatha taught English language and literature for over four decades in premiere institutions in Bengaluru such as the Indian Institute of Science, Regional Institute of English, PG Centre of Bangalore University, and Azim Premji University. She is a bilingual scholar who has written in Kannada and English on matters of language, literature, teaching, and translation. Deeply engaged with various facets of Kannada culture, Dr. Vanamala Viswanatha was a drama artist in All India Radio. She anchored the Kannada news on Doordarshan from 1984-94. She was Associate Director, Katha Regional Academic Centre, Bangalore, an initiative that promoted Indian literatures in translation. She also worked as Honorary Director, Centre for Translation, Sahitya Akademi, New Delhi. Prof Vanamala Viswanatha served as a member on the National Translation Mission.

Prof Vanamala Viswanatha has translated and introduced several well-known Kannada writers such as Sara Aboobacker, Lankesh, Vaidehi, and Ananthamurthy. She translated (with Hans Sjöstrom) Samskara into Swedish, and introduced the Swedish novel The Way of the Serpent by Torgny Lindgren in Kannada. (Sahitya Akademi, 2002). More recently, she has translated several classical texts from pre-modern and modern Kannada literature including the poetry of women saint poets of the 12th century Virashaiva movement (Vachana, Basava Samithi. 2012). The Life of Harishchandra (Harvard University Press, 2017), her translation of a medieval Kannada poetic classic in the Murty Classical Library of India series, is a landmark publication. Dr Vanamala Viswanatha’s translation (with Shivarama Padikkal) of Indira Bai (1899), the first social novel in Kannada, published by Oxford University Press (2019), is yet another milestone in presenting the literary treasures of Kannada to a global readership. This text received the Best Translation award in 2020 from Kuvempu Bhasha Bharati Pradhikara, Government of Karnataka.

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Literary fiction and Translations