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Bengali Translation Wins Prestigious Romain Rolland Book Prize 2024

The recipient of this year’s Romain Rolland Book Prize is Pankaj Kumar Chatterjee for his remarkable translation of Jean-Daniel Baltassat’s “Le Divan de Staline” into Bengali, titled “Staliner Divan.” Published by New Bharat Sahitya Kutir, Kolkata, Chatterjee’s translation stood out for its linguistic prowess and fidelity to the original text. This marks the second time that a Bengali translation has been honoured with this prestigious award.

About the Winning Translation

“Le Divan de Staline” delves into a pivotal episode in the life of Joseph Stalin, the Soviet leader. Set in his native Georgia, the novel portrays Stalin grappling with insomnia and haunted by ghosts from his past. The narrative unfolds as Stalin interacts with his mistress, Vodieva, who assumes the role of a psychoanalyst, and awaits a young painter, Danilov, presenting a monument in his honor. Through vivid imagery and evocative storytelling, Jean-Daniel Baltassat presents Stalin not as a benevolent figure but as a tyrant consumed by cruelty and ruthlessness.

Recognition and Significance

The recognition of Pankaj Kumar Chatterjee’s translation highlights the growing appreciation for diverse literary voices and cultural exchanges. By bringing French literature to Bengali readers, Chatterjee’s work enriches the literary landscape and promotes cross-cultural understanding.

Publisher and Translator’s Acknowledgment

New Bharatiya Sahitya Kutir, the publishing house behind the winning translation, and Pankaj Kumar Chatterjee, the translator, will be honored with invitations to prestigious literary events. The publisher will attend the Paris Book Market in May 2024, while the translator will participate in the Paris Book Fair in April 2024, organized by the French Institute in India.

This recognition not only celebrates the art of translation but also underscores the power of literature in bridging cultures and fostering mutual understanding.

Bengali Translation Wins Prestigious Romain Rolland Book Prize 2024_4.1

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