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Rao, Anandi (2021) 'Looking for Portia: Archives, Translation and the Politics of Language.' South Asian Review, 42 (2). pp. 143-156.

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The late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries are filled with male translators, particularly civil servants, translating Shakespeare into Indian vernacular languages. These translations have been archived in repositories like the British library and the Shakespeare memorial trust library owing to the archiving projects of the British colonial administration. In looking at the archive, searching for translations of Othello, Romeo and Juliet and The Merchant of Venice – I finally found my elusive Portia, a woman translator of Shakespeare – “Arya.” “Arya” translated Merchant of Venice into Hindi as Venice Nagar ka Vyapari in 1888. This paper tells us a two-fold story. The first is my archival journey and the attempt to piece together the persona of “Arya.” The second is to think about what it means to read the past from the present through an analysis of the translated text which seeks to place Arya and her text within the sexual and language politics of her time.

Item Type: Journal Article
Keywords: Shakespeare; translation; archival research; Hindi nationalism
SOAS Departments & Centres: Departments and Subunits > School of Languages, Cultures & Linguistics
ISSN: 02759527
DOI (Digital Object Identifier):
Date Deposited: 02 Aug 2023 14:02

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