|Literary initiative |
Nov. 8: The Publication Board, Assam, will translate the complete works of Roxoraj Laxminath Bezbarua into English, in a bid to make the writer globally accessible.
Bezbarua, a pioneer of modern Assamese literature, is a revered figure among writers and readers, because of his valuable contribution to its development.
A board official said the English translation of Bezbarua’s works would be available in the market next year. “The translated version, to be published next year, will be a book of around 400 pages covering the writer’s entire body of work,” he said.
The board has decided to approach veteran writer and journalist Dhirendranath Bezbaruah to act as editor of the book.
Bezbarua wrote a poetry collection, a novel, four short story collections, four collections each of children’s folk tales and satirical essays, seven plays (including four co-mic ones), three biographies and two autobiographies.
The government celebrated the centenary of Bez-barua’s most popular book, Burhi Aair Xadhu this year and on the eve of the celebrations, the book was translated into several languages, including English.
For 100 years, Burhi Aair Xadhu has been popular am-ong children because of its fascinating tales and powerful narrative style. But most of his remaining works are yet to be translated into English.
The board officials are hopeful that once the writer’s works are available in English, it would help the readers from across the globe know more about the Bezbarua, get a glimpse of the initial phase of development of Assamese literature as well as the richness of the language.
In the recent Guwahati Literary Festival-cum-Book Fair, the board paid tribute to the author by distributing around 500 copies of another of his children’s folktale collection, Kokadeuta Aru Nati Lora, among students. Considering the difficulty faced by students in understanding the language used by Bezbarua, the publisher had given meanings of difficult words at the end of the book.
The language used by Bezbarua is quite different from the language used by today’s writers. Some words that the author picked up from contemporary society to describe things have become redundant. But the officials are hopeful these difficulties would go away once the translated book comes out.