scorecardresearch
Follow Us:
Monday, June 27, 2022

Writers’ Workshop completes 50 years of literary glory

Ever since it was founded in 1958, the Writers’ Workshop in Kolkata has not only produced nearly 3,800 copies of literary works, but has also given the world of English literature a number of Indian geniuses.

Written by Expressnewsservice | Kolkata |
October 4, 2008 3:39:25 am

Ever since it was founded in 1958, the Writers’ Workshop in Kolkata has not only produced nearly 3,800 copies of literary works, but has also given the world of English literature a number of Indian geniuses.

To mark the workshop’s 50th anniversary, the first volume of the recreated book and DVD version of The Mahabharata of Vyasa was launched by Governor Gopalkrishna Gandhi at a function on Friday evening. The occasion also aimed at honouring Professor P Lal, the founder of the Writers workshop.

Holy Cow, a book of poetry by Surendra Nihal Singh, a former editor of The Indian Express, was also released on the occasion.

The workshop, which has provided a platform to many celebrated literary figures like Vikram Seth, Anita Desai, Nissim Ezekiel and Ruskin Bond, was founded by Lal to make up for the lack of publishers interested in Indian writers writing in English.

Best of Express Premium
UPSC Key-June 27, 2022: Know the relevance of ‘Deputy Speaker’ to ‘Nation...Premium
An IITian, a convict serving life, and a ‘whistleblower’ cop:...Premium
Road to 2024: As BJP fills gaps ahead of next LS polls, Droupadi Murmu is...Premium
MYn wants to be India’s next big ‘super-app’ with unique take on privacyPremium

Speaking on the occasion, Gandhi said that a few people possess the gift of words and Lal was one of them who utilised it to the fullest. “There is an organic tactility that came out of the Writers Workshop,” said Gandhi.

Prof Lal, who has been associated with the St Xavier’s College, however, claimed to have been blessed for doing such kind of works.

“There are 6,000 small presses in the city, run in small garages or in the corner of a room. They are run by young Bengalis to inspire people, promote culture and instill literary values. Those volumes are sold at low prices. I am proud to be born in a city that promotes literature,” said Lal.

Lal, who is known for his translated version of The Mahabharata, also spoke about the need for the four ideals — artha, dharma, kama and moksha — in literary text for the betterment of life.

He said while most people appreciated his contribution to literature, the real contribution came from the family of binders who had been binding his books for generations.

“I am a translator. In today’s fast world people read books but they don’t really understand them. It is a translator who has to explore every single word,” he said.

Also present on the occasion were luminaries like filmmakers Suresh Kohli and Siddharth Kak, professor of Dhaka University Sayeed Islam and former diplomat Krishnan Srinivasan, most of whose works had been published by Prof Lal’s workshop. Kak, whose only book of poetry had been released by the workshop, also read out portions of his poetry.

Express Subscription Do not hit the wall, subscribe for the best coverage out of India starting at just $5 per month

📣 Join our Telegram channel (The Indian Express) for the latest news and updates

For all the latest News Archive News, download Indian Express App.

  • Newsguard
  • The Indian Express website has been rated GREEN for its credibility and trustworthiness by Newsguard, a global service that rates news sources for their journalistic standards.
  • Newsguard
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement