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‘We need good translations of our important works’

Robab Rosan |
Update: 2014-02-26 02:40:21
‘We need good translations of our important works’

Born in 14 February, 1961, Mujtoba Ahmed Murshed has been involved with literature since childhood. He received the ‘Nowroz Literary Award’ for his poems in 1979 boosting his confidence. The very next year, his short story bagged the ‘Nabarupi Surbani Sangeetshiksha’ award, while his poems won the ‘Dinajpur Natya Samity’ award in 1981.
 
On the occasion of Amar Ekushey Book Fair, Mujtoba Ahmed Murshed talked to banglanews24.com. This year, publishing house ‘Shuddhaswar’ has published Murshed’s new collection of stories entitled ‘Andhar Kheko Prajapati’. The cover designer is Tawhin Hasan. The latest book - his fourth anthology - has nine new short stories.
 
His previous works, including the first compilation of Murshed’s writings by Dhrubapad, are also available at the fair.
 
Murshed is known to capture the myriad colors of life in his writings. As a story writer he looks deep into society and as a poet he explores the human soul.
 
Are you searching for a new media to showcase your creativity?
 
Whenever I hear the word media, I`m reminded of colors and brush. I have been writing lyrics. I am also drawn to theatre.
 
Earlier, I wrote scripts for television dramas but satisfaction eluded me. I think one should be more careful about TV dramas. Of course play writing has its own charm.
 
You uttered two words: color’ and brush…

I passed my adolescent days with colors and brushes. Whenever I think about writing I feel the presence of colors. They play in my mind. I enjoy it. I also feel the presence of colors when I write.
 
What is the purpose of these things?

Since we have been living in a country, we want to see society healthy. Generally, a social responsibility is created. My writings provide me pleasure and a wish for betterment of society runs through them. But I don`t want to impose anything on anyone.

Your views on the importance of Bangla literature in the world?
 
Bangali writers are comparatively not well-know to the readers of other languages. Translations of major contemporary literary works are missing. On the other hand, mediocre writings get translated through the efforts of some writers.
 
There should be good translation of our major literary works. Bangla Academy should take the lead in this regard.
 
I think that a list of masterpieces should also be prepared.
 
In 2004 I attended Frankfurt International Book Fair. I was invited as a writer by Goethe-Institut. I was also a special guest at the Los Angeles conference of Federation Of Bangladeshi Associations in North America (FOBANA). On both occasions, I did my best to popularise Bangla literature on foreign soil.
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What do you think about local readership?

It’s true that we have showed very little interest in our own writers. It is my personal opinion that most of the readers buy books after seeing reports on writers. They also see advertisements before buying a book.
 
A big chunk of readers still love to browse. They buy quality books which is essential for the survival of not only writers but the publishing industry.
 
We have a growing population but unfortunately we lack growing quality readership.
 
Quality books can be purchased with state funds from various book fairs by bodies like the Bangla Academy. The government must play a big role in spreading knowledge.  I believe that art and literature are integral parts of our history and heritage.
 
What do you think about the impact of digitalization on books?
 
If books are digitalized, readership will improve. Most readers nowadays hardly find the time to pick up a book. . But they spend a lot of time in front of the computer online. They google news and read reports and soft versions of books. We should adapt to modern technology.

Of course, most readers still love printed book!

BDST: 1245 HRS, FEB 26, 2014

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