Tracing the Local: The Translator-Travellee in French Accounts of India

  • Sanjukta Banerjee

Abstract

This paper seeks to trace the presence of the “translator-travellee” in the construction and dissemination of French travel writing on India from the eighteenth century. Drawing on the concept of “language as a local practice” (Pennycook 2010), it examines the travellers’ descriptions of India’s linguistic landscape to underscore the interactional history of representation that the conventions of European travel writing have tended to elide, particularly in the context of the subcontinent. The local in this paper is approached as a process inextricably linked with the social and the historical, and its exploration is aimed at rendering visible the role of the Indian translator/interpreter in embedding vernacular knowledge in international discursive networks at a crucial period in the subcontinent’s encounter with the West.

References

von Adelung, Friedrich. An Historical Sketch of Sanscrit Literature: With Copious Bibliographical Notices of Sanscrit Works and Translations. DA Talboys, 1832.

Alam, Muzaffar, and Seema Alavi. A European Experience of the Mughal Orient: The I'jaz-i Arsalani (Persian Letters, 1773-1779) of Antoine-Louis-Henri Polier. Oxford University Press, 2001.

Anquetil-Duperron, Abraham Hyacinthe. Recherches historiques et geographiques sur l'Inde. Berlin, 1786.

Anquetil-Duperron, Abraham Hyacinthe. “A Brief Account of a Voyage to India Undertaken by M. Anquetil du Perron.” The Annual Register, London, 1787.

“Bagavadam, ou Doctrine Divine.” The Monthly Review; or, Literary Journal, vol. 79, July 1788, pp. 591-593.

Banerjee, Sanjukta. “Unfixing Multilingualism: India Translated in French Travel Accounts.” A Multilingual Nation: Translation and Language Dynamic in India, edited by Rita Kothari, Oxford University Press, 2018, pp. 97-115.

Bassnett, Susan. Comparative Literature: A Critical Introduction. Blackwell, 1993.

Bassnett, Susan. “Travel Writing and Gender." The Cambridge Companion to Travel Writing. Cambridge University Press, 2002, pp. 225-41 DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/CCOL052178140X.014

Bracewell, Wendy. “The Travellee’s Eye: Reading European Travel Writing, 1750-1850.” New Directions in Travel Writing Studies, edited by Julia Kuehn and Paul Smethurst, Palgrave Macmillan, 2015, pp. 215-227. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1057/9781137457257_14

Calvet, Louis Jean. Language Wars and Linguistic Politics. Translated by Michel Petheram, Oxford University Press on Demand, 1998.

Chakrabarty, Dipesh. Provincializing Europe: Postcolonial Thought and Historical Difference. Princeton University Press, 2009. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/9781400828654

"coss | cos, n.2." OED Online, Oxford University Press, July 2018, www.oed.com/view/Entry/42286. Accessed 5 November 2018.

Das, Sisir K. A History of Indian Literature:1800-1910 Western Impact: Indian Response. Sahitya Akademi, 1991.

Dasgupta, Probal. "Trafficking in Words: Languages, Missionaries and Translators." In Translation: Reflections, Refractions, Transformations, edited by Paul St-Pierre and P.C. Kar, John Benjamins Pub., 2007, pp 57-72.

Deleury, Guy. Les Indes florissantes: Anthologie des voyageurs français, 1750-1820. R. Laffont, 1991.

Diderot, Denis, and Jean Le Rond d'Alembert. Encyclopédie Ou Dictionnaire Raisonné Des Sciences, Des Arts et Des Métiers. Paris, 1765.

Doniger, Wendy. “An Alternative Historiography for Hinduism.” The Journal of Hindu Studies, no. 2, 2009, pp. 17-26. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1093/jhs/hip001

Ghosh, Durba. "Decoding the Nameless: Gender, Subjectivity, and Historical Methodologies in Reading the Archives of Colonial India." New Imperial History: Culture, Identity, and Modernity in Britain and the Empire, 1660-1840, edited by Kathleen Wilson, Cambridge University Press, 2004, pp. 297-316.

de Grandpré, Louis. Voyage dans l'Inde et au Bengale, fait dans les années 1789 et 1790, vol. 1, Paris, 1801.

de Guignes, Joseph. “Réflexions sur un livre Indien intitulé Bagavadam.” Histoires de l'Académie Royale des Inscriptions et Belles Lettres, vol. 38, 1772, pp. 312-336.

Gupta, Ravi M, and Kenneth R. Valpey. The Bhāgavata Purāṇa: Sacred Text and Living Tradition. Columbia University Press, 2013.

Islam, Syed Manzurul. The Ethics of Travel: From Marco Polo to Kafka. Manchester University Press, 1996.

Kaviraj, Sudipta. “Writing, Speaking, Being: Language and the Historical Formation of Identities in India.” The Imaginary Institution of India: Politics and Ideas. Columbia University Press, 2010, pp. 127-166.

Le Blanc, Claudine. 2009. “Les premiers passeurs de Bhâgavata Purâna.” Passeurs d'idées religieuses entre l'Inde et l'Europe, edited by Pflieger-Maillard, Christine, and Ysé Tardan-Masquelier, Presses universitaires de Strasbourg, 2009, pp. 15-36.

Lefebvre, Henri. The Production of Space. Translated by Donald Nicholson-Smith, Blackwell, 1984.

Lodge, R. Anthony. French: From Dialect to Standard. Routledge, 1993. DOI: https://doi.org/10.4324/9780203319994

Makoni, Sinfree, and Alastair Pennycook. Disinventing and Reconstituting Languages. Multilingual Matters, 2007. DOI: https://doi.org/10.21832/9781853599255

Massey, Doreen. "Politics and Space/time." New Left Review. No 196, 1992, pp. 65-84.

Mohan, Jyoti. Claiming India: French Scholars and the Preoccupation with India in the Nineteenth Century. SAGE Publishing India, 2017. DOI: https://doi.org/10.4135/9789353280215

Neild-Basu, Susan. "The Dubashes of Madras." Modern Asian Studies, no. 18, 1984, pp.1-31. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/S0026749X00011203

Pennycook, Alastair. Language as a Local Practice. Routledge, 2010. DOI: https://doi.org/10.4324/9780203846223

Pollock, Sheldon. The Language of the Gods in the World of Men: Sanskrit, Culture, and Power in Premodern India. University of California Press, 2006.

Poullé, Maridas, and Foucher d'Obsonville. Bagavadam, ou, doctrine divine: Ouvrage Indien, canonique: sur l'être suprême, les dieux, les géans,les hommes, les diverses parties de l'Univers, etc. Paris, 1788.

Poullé, Maridas, and Henry Hosten. Le Bhâgavata. D'après un texte Sen Tamoul. Nouvelle traduction de Maridas Poullé de Pondichéry (1793-1795). Pondichéry: Société de l'histoire de de l'Inde française, 1921.

Pratt, Mary Louise. Imperial Eyes: Travel Writing and Transculturation. Routledge, 2008. DOI: https://doi.org/10.4324/9780203932933

Raj, Kapil. "Mapping Knowledge: Go-Betweens in Calcutta, 1770–1820." The Brokered World: Go-Betweens and Global Intelligence: 1770-1820, edited by Simon Schaffer et al., Science History Publications 2009, pp. 105-50.

de Rivarol, Antoine. De l’Universalité de la langue française; discours qui a remporté le prix à l'Académie de Berlin, edited by H. Juin, Paris, 1784.

Rocher, Ludo. The Puranas. Otto Harrassowitz, 1986.

Romaine, Suzanne. Language in Society: An Introduction to Sociolinguistics. Oxford University Press, 2000.

Said, Edward. Orientalism. Vintage Books, 2003.

Said, Edward. Culture and Imperialism. Vintage Books, 1993.

Selby, Martha Ann., and Indira Viswanathan Peterson. Tamil Geographies: Cultural Constructions of Space and Place in South India. SUNY Press, 2008.

Singh, Kumar Suresh, and S. Manoharan. Languages and Scripts. Oxford University Press, 1993.

Smith, Barbara Herrnstein. Contingencies of Value: Alternative Perspectives for Critical Theory. Harvard University Press, 1991.

Soja, Edward W. Postmodern Geographies: The Reassertion of Space in Critical Social Theory. Verso, 1989.

Soja, Edward W. Thirdspace: Journeys to Los Angeles and Other Real-and-Imagined Places. Blackwell, 1996.

Sonnerat, Pierre and C S. Sonnini. Voyage aux Indes orientales et à la Chine fait Par ordre de Louis XVI depuis 1774 jusqu'en 1781, vol 1, Paris, 1806.

Subrahmanyam, Sanjay. "Between a Rock and a Hard Place: Some Afterthoughts." The Brokered World: Go-betweens and Global Intelligence, 1770-1820, edited by Simon Schaffer et al., Science History Publications, 2009., pp. 429-440.

Published
2019-05-24
Section
Articles