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PREFACE The compiler of any literary anthology is always liable to be accused of sins of omission and commission, and I do not expect to be spared. I began work on this project with the idea of producing two separate books: a much larger and more comprehensive selection of poems in English translation, including works by as many as forty poets, and an anthology of some thirty short stories. These objectives were modified for a number of reasons. It gradually became clear to me that the poetry of another culture can rarely be appreciated or understood fully if its authors are not properly introduced or presented in the context of their own historicaland literary traditions.The approach I subsequently adopted was to provide an introduction to the works of a fairly limited number of important Nepalipoets. At a later stage it dawned on me that although Nepali short stories contain a wealth of interesting material, many are simply less compelling in a strictly literarysense than are the more highly developed poetic genres. Each poet who is the subject of a separate chapter in Part One of this book has been chosen for reasons of significance, and the importance of the contribution each has made to Nepali poetry is explained in an introductory preamble to the selection of translated poems. The farther back into the historical past one ventures, the easier it becomes to assess the importance of individual poets. Thus, it is unlikely that any Nepali will wish to quarrel with my choice of the first six poets. It isinevitably more difficult to predict who will come to be regarded in future years as the most important Nepali poets of the more recent past. In general, however, I have relied on the assessments of Nepali critics and anthologists in my choice of both poets and poems. If a poet appears regularly in the four anthologies publishedby the Royal Nepal Academy and Sajha XI xii PRKFACF. Prakashan, it seems safe to assume that he or she is considered significant . I have adopted a similar rule with regard to the selection of poems for translation, although it must be admitted that personal taste and the extent to which I have felt satisfied with my translations have also played a part in this process. Thus, some poems are translated here because Nepali critics agree that they are important; others appear simply because I have enjoyed them. My aim in Part Two has been to present translations of some of the most interesting and best-known examples of the short story in Nepali, to demonstrate the extent to which they describe life in Nepal, and to give some indication of the way in which the genre has developed. This selection has been "boiled down" from my original collection of more than thirty translated stories and is presented as far as possible in order of first publication. Obviously, each story was originally written by a Nepali for a Nepali readership. It should also be borne in mind that the authors are from a particular section of Nepali society—the educated urban middle class—and that these stories therefore inevitably reflect the prejudices, perceptions, and preoccupations of members of that, class. It is part of a translator's duty to explain and interpret, and I havetried to do this as unobtrusively as possible with a fairly brief introduction to the genre and its themes and with an explanation of Nepali terms and cultural references in brief footnotes to the texts. A number of Nepali words have been retained in these translations because no single English word could adequately translate them. More detailed explanations of such terms may be found in the glossary at the end of the book. In selecting these stories for translation, I consulted with a number of scholars, critics, and authors in Kathmandu in the summer of 1988 and compiled a list of more than fifty important Nepali short story writers . Obviously, this list had to be shortened because the inclusion of one story by each writer would have produced a book of unmanageable and unpublishable proportions. It soon became clear that certain writers could be represented adequately by one story apiece but that justice would not be done to others if only one story of theirs was translated. Thus, an initial selection was made of thirty stories by twenty-two authors , of whom six were represented by two stories and one (Bishweshwar Prasad Koirala) by three. Once the authors had been selected...

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Additional Information

ISBN
9780520910263
Related ISBN
9780520070486
MARC Record
OCLC
43476642
Pages
280
Launched on MUSE
2014-01-01
Language
English
Open Access
No
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