Debi Chaudhurani, or The Wife Who Came Home by Julius J Lipner

By Julius J Lipner

This can be the second one in a trilogy of works via the famed Bengali novelist Bankimcandra Chatterji (1838-1894), and the second one to be translated by way of Julius Lipner. the 1st, Anandamath, or The Sacred Brotherhood used to be released through OUP in 2005. Bankim Chatterji was once possibly the most important novelist and highbrow mediating western rules to India within the latter 1/2 the nineteenth century. Debi Chaudhurani is a didactic paintings that champions a specific interpretation of Hindu dharma and wifely tasks reflective of the overdue 19th-century Calcutta context during which it used to be written. however the tale can also be compelling. Written in a conversational sort, it beneficial properties superb plot twists and ideas which are, even at the present time, innovative of their bold. so much significantly, Bankim makes a lady the embodiment of Lord Krishna's salvific message, as initially enunciated within the Bhagavad Gita. The protagonist, Debi, is a posh determine who's a rejected spouse, turns into a bandit queen, represents a goddess determine, and symbolizes the land of India. there's a artistic rigidity among her energy as a pace-setter and her right position, from the point of view of the writer, as a family spouse. Bankim additionally makes a speciality of caste and what it potential to be a real Brahmin, who's reworked by means of the writer right into a guy who executes obligations rather than tough privileges. in the context of the lessons of the Gita, the writer stocks his imaginative and prescient of social activism to enhance India. Lipner's idiomatic translation is more desirable through his exact statement at the unique Bengali textual content and via a readable advent that units the radical and its rules in context.

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We know, however, that Bankim was not unsusceptible to incorporating in his reconstruction of Hinduism scientific and rationalist ideas deriving from western sources; we have already noted the influence of Comte, Spencer, and others on his thought. Hence it is quite possible that some of the edge of these scornful authorial remarks was Bankim’s way of letting off steam under cover of narratival license during a period of rapid and bewildering cultural change; he was not averse to changing old ways when this seemed called for.

Is not a literary masterpiece; there are deficiencies of plot and style which the translator cannot strive to remedy. But then Bankim was not particularly concerned about that. His greater aim was to convey a teaching through the instrument of writing a novel. • 33 Introduction what I had done in others. Unsurprisingly, of course, at times we are both constrained to use the same or similar expressions when translating, though I have made it a point to reflect the directness of Bankim’s generally crisp style (an innovation for his time).

Brajesvar learned these words by heart, and whenever he felt like weeping for Prafulla, he’d console himself by saying: A father is heaven, a father is duty, a father indeed is one’s highest concern. 14). bhakti) no longer exists in the land of Bengal. Through the deadly poison (hala¯hale) of English education, Bengal’s ancient code of practice (pra¯cı¯n dharma) has been shattered. One’s most revered, worshipful father, whose lotus feet one lacked the courage to touch in the past, has now become “My dear father”!

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