An excellent piece on Pakistani literature by Daisy Rockwell this week in the Guardian. Rockwell critiques Granta’s issue on the country’s literature and asks:
Around the time of the release of Granta 112, I came across an interview with the magazine’s new editor, John Freeman, about the Pakistan issue. I hoped I would find some plausible rationale for the linguistic chauvinism of the issue, but I was disappointed. When asked why so few translations were included, Freeman responded, “…we got loads of submissions, a lot of them translations from Urdu, which we especially asked for, but it was very hard to find something contemporary that made sense.” This idea of what ‘makes sense’ troubled me. Was the writing bad, were the translations poor? What does it mean for a piece of writing to ‘make sense’ in this context? Did they not talk about Islamism or militarisation? Were they not keyed into global conversations?
Rockwell holds a PhD in Hindi literature, but has returned to painting. Read it here.