Perspectives: An Anthology of Telugu Short Stories

By Krätli, Graziano | World Literature Today, January/February 2017 | Go to article overview

Perspectives: An Anthology of Telugu Short Stories


Krätli, Graziano, World Literature Today


Perspectives: An Anthology of Telugu Short Stories. Trans. Srinivas Rayaprol. Goa, India. Under the Peepal Tree. 2016. 192 pages.

Perspectives: An Anthology of Telugu Short Stories is a collection of nineteen short stories by as many authors (sixteen men and three women), selected and translated from the Telugu by Srinivas Rayaprol (1925-98), arguably one of postcolonial India's most interesting and least-appreciated anglophone poets.

Telugu, a Dravidian language spoken by some seventy-five million people in the southern states of Andhra Pradesh and Telangana, was Rayaprol's father tongue as well as his father's literary medium. This may explain his choice of English, and American English, over British models. His father, the distinguished poet, scholar, and academic Rayaprolu Subbarao, was a great admirer and translator of English Romantic poetry.

Back in India, he founded and edited a short-lived but important literary magazine, East and West, and published three collections of poetry in three decades, eventually turning his creative attention and skills to the translation of modern and contemporary Telugu poetry and short fiction. At the time of his premature death, he had contributed to various anthologies and prepared at least one selection of his own.

The present volume was "nearly finished" when Rayaprol's daughter, and manager of the Rayaprol Literary Trust, asked the editors to prepare the manuscript for publication. In their prefatory note, they explain how the translator's method was "so radically different" from their own that they "decided not to tamper" with it, simply ensuring consistency across the entire volume. …

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