The Hindi afterlife of European modernism in the U.S.: Translating Exile and Exile by K.B. Vaid
- Anirudh Karnick
- School of Arts & Sciences
Anirudh Karnick will produce an annotated translation of Pravas aur Pravas [Exile and Exile] (2018), a book-length conversation between Krishna Baldev Vaid (1927-2020), one of Hindi’s foremost modernist writers, and Udayan Vajpeyi (1960-), a contemporary Hindi writer and journal editor. This will be preceded by a substantial introduction and braided with materials based on both Vaid’s published writing and his archives housed in Bhopal and New Delhi in India, and New York City and College Station, Texas in the US, as well as conversations with the interviewer, Udayan Vajpeyi. Anirudh intends to highlight both Vaid’s decisions as a writer and his own decisions as a translator at the level of the word and the sentence, while also underscoring the connotational complications produced by the histories in which those words and sentences are embedded.
As a bilingual writer and a translator across languages, Anirudh is drawn to Vaid’s multilingual literary practice. Vaid knew Hindi, English, Urdu, Persian, besides his mother-tongue, Punjabi. He began his career by writing and publishing in Urdu magazines. He left Urdu and its rich corpus of literature, and opted for its sister-language, Hindi. Hindi had a less illustrious literary history but was pregnant with possibility as the most widely comprehended language across South Asia. Anirudh is interested in how artists in a multilingual region like South Asia choose linguistic and literary affiliations and how Vaid’s openness to Urdu, Persian and English and his training in Persianate genres is visible in both his practice and in his reflections on them.