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INTERACTIVE

Chats Ep. 5 · On Tamil translation & Perumal Murugan's "Poonachi"

In Episode 5, Aishwarya Kumar had a discussion on Instagram Live on Tamil translation with acclaimed writer and translator N Kalyan Raman, most famously the translator of Perumal Murugan's Poonachi: The Story of a Black Goat, which won the Sahitya Akademi's Translation Award in 2022.


Raman discusses the nature of translation, his experience with Murugan's work and the time when he encountered it, as well as seminal Modernist Tamil literary figures, such as Pudhumaipithan, known for his revolutionary and satirical fiction in a radical vein, as well as contemporary poets such as Perundevi.


There's no shortage of works to translate, Raman argues convincingly. The Tamil short story, he argues further, is the true peak of Tamil modernist achievement in literature.


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N KALYAN RAMAN has been translating Tamil fiction and poetry into English for the last two decades, for which he received the Pudumaipithan Award in 2017. Some of the fiction writers he has made accessible to an Anglophone audience include the late Ashokamitran, Devibharathi, Vaasanthi, Perumal Murugan, and Poomani. He has translated numerous Tamil poets, including forty poems by forty Tamil women poets for an anthology curated by Kutti Revathi. He received the Sahitya Akademi Award for Translation in 2022 for his translation of Perumal Murugan's Poonachi.

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N KALYAN RAMAN

There's really no shortage of Tamil works to translate, according to N Kalyan Raman, the acclaimed Tamil translator of Perumal Murugan's novel "Poonachi". On the docket: plays, poems, and works by radical Modernist Tamil literary figures spanning much of the 20th century.

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