Cultural activities

Don Quixote in Sanskrit

Don Quixote in Sanskrit Gustave Doré

The prophetic words that Miguel de Cervantes put into the mouth of Don Quixote, when he stated that the ingenious hidalgo's novel would be translated into all the languages ​​of the world, now make even greater sense. On July 6, the director of the Cervantes Institute, Luis García Montero, will present at the Instituto Cervantes in New Delhi the translation of Don Quixote into one of the oldest languages ​​in the world: Sanskrit. Sanskrit is the classical language of India with an uninterrupted literary production of more than 3,500 years and a volume of works greater than all Greco-Latin literature.

This edition contains a Sanskrit translation of eight chapters of the first part of Don Quixote. At the suggestion of the American book collector Carl Tilden Keller and with the mediation of the British explorer Sir Marc Aurel Stein two Kashmiri Brahmin pundits or scholars, Pandit Nityanand Shastri and Pandit Jagaddhar Zadoo translated chapters I.2, I.3, I.8 , I.10, I.16, I.17, I.18 and I.23 of Don Quixote. For this, the two Kashmiri scholars did not use the original in Spanish, but the English translation by Charles Jarvis prepared in the first half of the 18th century.

In this volume both the Sanskrit translation and the corresponding parts of Jarvis's English version are printed on facing pages. The Sanskrit text has been edited on the basis of a unique manuscript that was written in Kashmir in the winter of 1936/37 and is now kept in the Houghton Library at Harvard University. This publication includes an overview of the reception of Cervantes' classic in India, as well as a detailed study of the fascinating history of the Sanskrit translation of Don Quixote and its as yet unpublished partial version in Kashmiri. The printed book is accompanied by an audio book containing the recording of the entire Sanskrit text read by Professor Shrikant Bahulkar.

In addition to the director of the Instituto Cervantes and the Spanish ambassador to India, José María Ridao, the presentation will include Dr. Karan Singh, son of the last Maharaja of Kashmir, the German professor who authored this edition, Dr. Dragomir Dimitrov, the grandson of one of the translators, S.N. Pandita, and the Sanskrit and Pali teacher Mahesh Deokar.