Interview with Arun Som (Kolkata, India)

The Zubovsky Project
,
Jessica Bachman, Interviewer |

0:00 - Introduction

Play segmentSegment link

Partial Transcript:

Segment Synopsis:

Keywords: Calcutta; Kolkata

Subjects:

1:41 - Migrating to India from East Pakistan after 1947 Partition of India

Play segmentSegment link

Partial Transcript:

Segment Synopsis:

Keywords: 1947; Bangladesh; Calcutta; Dhaka; East Pakistan; Kolkata; Migration; Narayanganj; Partition of India; Presidency College; Sylhet

Subjects:

5:09 - Learning Russian in Calcutta at the Indo-Soviet Cultural Society

Play segmentSegment link

Partial Transcript:

Segment Synopsis:

Keywords: Calcutta University; Indo-Soviet Cultural Society; Left Wing Movements; Park Circus; Private tuition; Progress Publishers; Russian Classics; Russian Literature; Soviet Literature; Translation

Subjects:

10:20 - Som's Russian émigrée teacher migrates to China and India after Russian Revolution

Play segmentSegment link

Partial Transcript:

Segment Synopsis:

Keywords: Australia; Bombay; Calcutta; China; Harbin; Migration; Orissa; Russian Revolution; Soviet Union

Subjects:

17:00 - Father loses job after Partition of India in 1947/ migrates to Calcutta from Dhaka

Play segmentSegment link

Partial Transcript:

Segment Synopsis:

Keywords: British India; joint family; migration from East Pakistan; Partition of India; unemployment

Subjects:

20:54 - Headmaster annoyed with choice to specialize in Bengali literature

Play segmentSegment link

Partial Transcript:

Segment Synopsis:

Keywords: Bengali; Bengali Literature; English Literature; Presidency College

Subjects:

22:37 - Attending Bengali medium school

Play segmentSegment link

Partial Transcript:

Segment Synopsis:

Keywords: Bengali school; Charles Dickens; English literature; Russian literature

Subjects:

23:53 - Som describes parents, siblings

Play segmentSegment link

Partial Transcript:

Segment Synopsis:

Keywords: Indian music; siblings; Sitar

Subjects:

27:01 - Leaving India to study at Moscow State University

Play segmentSegment link

Partial Transcript:

Segment Synopsis:

Keywords: Communist Party of India; fellowship; Indo-Soviet Cultural Society; Moscow State University

Subjects:

31:26 - Trying to land a job in Moscow/ contact with senior Bengali translator at Soviet publishing house

Play segmentSegment link

Partial Transcript:

Segment Synopsis:

Keywords: Eugene Onegin; Moscow; Noni Bhowmik; Russian-Bengali translation; Soviet publishers; USSR

Subjects:

34:41 - Bengali translation department grows after Bangladesh gains independence in 1971

Play segmentSegment link

Partial Transcript:

Segment Synopsis:

Keywords: Bangladesh independence; Bengali translators; children's literature; Soviet publishing houses; translation

Subjects:

36:09 - Joining Raduga and Progress Publishers in the USSR as Bengali Translator

Play segmentSegment link

Partial Transcript:

Segment Synopsis:

Keywords:

Subjects: children's literature compensation journals millionaires Progress Publishers propaganda books Raduga Raduga Publishing house Soviet magazines Soviet Nari Soviet Woman translation

38:52 - Money disappears after USSR's collapse in 1991/ Som takes up odd jobs

Play segmentSegment link

Partial Transcript:

Segment Synopsis:

Keywords: 1991; Aajkal newspaper; catering; collapse of USSR; cook; fish curry; foreign correspondent; journalism; odd jobs; Perestroika; private tutor; secretary

Subjects:

44:29 - Daily life as a translator in the USSR/piece-rate payment system

Play segmentSegment link

Partial Transcript:

Segment Synopsis:

Keywords: annual contracts; control editors; editing; holidays; piece rate system; Progress Publishers; Raduga Publishers; remuneration system; Soviet Publishers

Subjects:

49:35 - Approach to translation/ Soviet control editors spoil the job

Play segmentSegment link

Partial Transcript:

Segment Synopsis:

Keywords: adjectives; Bengali; control editors; culture; customs; dance; editing; Gogol; Hindi; Leo Tolstoy; long sentences; music; Russian; syntax; theory; traditions; translation; untranslatability; War and Peace; word choice

Subjects:

60:53 - Favorite translations/comparison between translators and actors

Play segmentSegment link

Partial Transcript:

Segment Synopsis:

Keywords: acting; children's literature; Fyodor Dostoyevsky; Gogol; Ivan Turgenev; Leo Tolstoy; Mikhail Sholokhov; physics; Quiet Flows the Don; role playing; Russian classics; technical literature

Subjects:

65:32 - Crime and Punishment haunts the translator/ joining Raduga Publishers in 1982

Play segmentSegment link

Partial Transcript:

Segment Synopsis:

Keywords: Bengali translation; Bengali writers; children's literature; Crime and Punishment; dreams; editing; Fyodor Dostoyevsky; haunting; Noni Bhowmik; Progress Publishers; Raduga; Raduga Publishers

Subjects:

72:20 - Soviet book distribution in India

Play segmentSegment link

Partial Transcript:

Segment Synopsis:

Keywords: book dealers; book subsidies; economics; National Book Agency; politics; prices; profit; propaganda; Soviet books; Soviet literature; Vostok

Subjects:

76:25 - Life in the USSR in the 1960s/ meets future Russian wife in 1967

Play segmentSegment link

Partial Transcript:

Segment Synopsis:

Keywords:

Subjects: courtship independent living Kuybyshev marriage Samara Soviet dormitories student life

80:27 - Starting life anew after 1991 collapse of USSR/

Play segmentSegment link

Partial Transcript:

Segment Synopsis:

Keywords:

Subjects: career post 1991 collapse of the USSR India pension Perestroika

84:05 - Poetry more profitable to translate than prose

Play segmentSegment link

Partial Transcript:

Segment Synopsis:

Keywords: Bangladeshi translators; children's literature; Cloud in Trousers; futurism; Hayat Mahmud; love poems; Noni Bhowmik; nonsense translation; piece-rate system; Poetry; prose; romance; Soviet poets; Vladimir Mayakovsky

Subjects:

93:14 - Watching Soviet films in Calcutta in the 1960s

Play segmentSegment link

Partial Transcript:

Segment Synopsis:

Keywords: Battleship Potyomkin; cinema tents; documentary films; films; Indo-Soviet Cultural Society; mobile vans; rural film screenings; Sergei Eisenstein; Soviet cinema; Soviet Information Department; The Forty-First; war films

Subjects:

97:11 - Translating and editing Soviet women's magazines into Bengali

Play segmentSegment link

Partial Transcript:

Segment Synopsis:

Keywords:

Subjects: magazines Soviet Desh Soviet journals Soviet Land Soviet Nari women's magazines

101:34 - Cultural diplomacy between India and the USSR

Play segmentSegment link

Partial Transcript:

Segment Synopsis:

Keywords: Afanasy Nikitin; Cultural diplomacy; Indo-Soviet relations; Mahabharata; Perestroika

Subjects:

104:09 - Translating Russian literature in present-day India/producing the first Bengali translation of Bulgakov's Master and Margarita

Play segmentSegment link

Partial Transcript:

Segment Synopsis:

Keywords: Bangla Academy; Bangladesh; Bangladeshi publishers; Bengali publishing; copyright; Fyodor Dostoyevsky; Leo Tolstoy; Master and Margarita; Mikhail Bulgakov; original writing; Rabindranath Tagore; Russian children's literature; Sahitya Academy; The Idiot; translation; War and Peace

Subjects:

114:57 - Children born in Moscow

Play segmentSegment link

Partial Transcript:

Segment Synopsis:

Keywords:

Subjects:

117:19 - Contributing articles on geopolitical topics to Bengali journals

Play segmentSegment link

Partial Transcript:

Segment Synopsis:

Keywords:

Subjects: economic relations geopolitics Indo-Soviet relations Sino-Indian relations

Search This Index
SearchClear