24 October 2010

Unnecessary mixing

Although as a theoretical principle it is better to have two rather than just one language in a poem, we have to keep in mind that mixing or adding languages should not be arbitrary.  There should always be an aesthetic reason to incorporate or adopt foreign words and ideas into a text.  This is a good point unwittingly raised by Bhisma Kukreti in a short review of Mero Bwada:  "The language is pure Garhwali and Pant tried to avoid unnecessarily mixing Hindi wordings in Garhwali poetry as Purn pant said that the poets should avoid Hindi in creating Garhwali literature."  I say "unwittingly," because Pant's dictum of avoiding a language is not aesthetically defensible.  If Pant were correct, we would have to junk not just T. S. Eliot, but a good number of authors considered canonical around the world.  What is really aesthetically indefensible is if a poet uses foreign words when local words would do as well.  The foreign words should add meanings and submeanings that are unavailable in the local language.

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