Translations remain the focus at this year’s Jaipur BookMark. Six sessions you shouldn’t miss

The parallel segment of the Jaipur Literature Festival puts the spotlight on the business of publishing and the world of translations.

The 2018 edition of the Jaipur Literature Festival kicks off on January 25 with an intriguing lineup of writers. The full schedule has been announced and the planning scramble to catch the most interesting sessions has already begun.

But for those who are equally interested in the business and future of publishing and the rich world of translations, there’s also the Jaipur BookMark to consider. A parallel segment of the ZEE Jaipur Literature Festival, it brings together publishers, literary agents, writers, translators and book sellers to “talk business” through focused sessions and discussions. Started in 2014, Jaipur BookMark also focuses on dialogues on translation – the buying and selling of rights, best trade practices, global benchmarks for publishing translations and the future of literary exchanges.

Last year’s edition hosted 25 sessions over five days and included intimate translation readings, where authors and translators like Roberto Calasso, Vivek Shanbhag, Chandan Gowda and Nandana Deb Sen read from their new works in translation. In a session titled “10/10: Reading South Asia in Translation”, ten literary experts came up with a master list of 75 works from South Asia to be read in translation. A session on the politics of literary translation threw up fascinating insight from writers and translators such as Mrinal Pande, Urvashi Butalia, Deborah Smith and Sukrita Paul Kumar.

This year, the focus on translation continues with exciting sessions on language and identity and three prize announcements including the Vani Foundation Translation Award for Indian languages, the Romain Rolland Prize for translations from French to Indian languages and the Oxford Book Cover Prize. The festival will also host writers, poets and translators from across the world with guests coming from countries including Norway, France, Wales, South Korea and Australia.

If you’re planning to attend (Jaipur BookMark begins a day earlier, from January 24) , here are six sessions you absolutely cannot miss.

Writing Wrong, Translating Lives: Keynote Address by Naveen Kishore

Seagull Books has always ensured a focus on translation since it was founded in 1982. The publishing house owns worldwide English-language publishing rights for books by Jean-Paul Sartre, Thomas Bernhard, Mahasweta Devi and Peter Handke. Naveen Kishore, founder and publisher at Seagull Books and the winner of the Goethe Medal in 2013, will inaugurate the festival by speaking about the task of a publisher to act as a bridge between the writerly act of telling untold stories, sharing new ideas and shedding light on older ones with readers that may not always find their way to these books.
When: Wednesday, January 24, 10.15 am to 11.00 am
Where: Durbar Hall

Language, Identity and Translation: Mridula Nath Chakraborty, Elin Haf Gruffydd Jones, Han Yujoo, Annie Montaut, Anna Moulton, Tara June Winch in conversation with Sudeep Sen

This discussion will focus on indigenous writing and minority languages, ranging from First Nation writing in Australia to Catalan protest literature and Dalit poetry in India. Panelists will look at translation as a tool that enables literatures from across the world to reach out to each other, creating an essential and free-flowing dialogue of culture and identity, and giving a voice to lesser-known communities.
When: Friday, January 26, 3.45 pm to 4.45 pm
Where: Jaipur Bookmark Haveli

Translating India: Vivek Shanbhag, Mini Krishnan, Tridip Suhrud, Sukrita Paul Kumar and Arunava Sinha in conversation with Aditi Maheshwari Goyal

This session, celebrating the commitment and dynamism of those translating, promoting and publishing the vast treasure of South Asian literatures will see practitioners discussing the constraints and challenges of promoting literature from Indian languages, nationally and internationally. This will be followed by an announcement of the Vani Foundation Prize for Translation, a prize that honours translators who have consistently and qualitatively facilitated literary and linguistic exchange between at least two Indian languages.
When: January 26, 5.15 pm to 6.15 pm
Where: Jaipur Bookmark Haveli

How Do Books Travel?: Sampurna Chattarji, Eurig Salisbury, Adriana Lisboa, Sunandan Roy Chowdhury, Hemant Divate in conversation with Alexandra Büchler

This session promises to offer a fascinating glimpse into collaborations between poets and translators, and some of the delights and challenges of publishing poetry from across the world in translation. Translators, poets and publishers will consider a range of activities that create opportunities for sustainable projects and act as a catalyst for new literary connections.
When: January 27, 2.30 pm to 3.30 pm
Where: Jaipur Bookmark Haveli

Translating the Untranslatable: Barbara Cassin, Radha Chakraborty, Akhil Katyal, Mini Krishnan, Galina Lazareva in conversation with Manasi Subramaniam

What does the word “untranslatable” suggest? That which must not be translated? Or the fact that some things simply can’t be translated? Are there elements which shouldn’t be translated, as it might imply a kind of violation? How can one translate in a way that acknowledges the incomplete nature of the process? This session will bring celebrated translators and publishers together to discuss and debate these distinctions.
When: January 28, 3.45 pm to 4.45 pm
Where: Jaipur Bookmark Haveli

BonJour India: Translating French Literature to Indian languages: Annie Montaut, Michele Albaret-Maatsch, Renuka George, Chinmoy Guha and Namita Gokhale, moderated by Nicolas Idier

A part of BonJour India, curated by Embassy of France in India, this session will also host the award ceremony for the first Romain Rolland prize, awarding the best French fiction title translated into Indian languages.

When: January 28, 5.15 pm to 6.15 pm
Where: Jaipur Bookmark Haveli

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