Classic Translations and Their Breathtaking Book Covers

The world of literature is full of some enigmatic works that transcend the boundaries of language.

If you are looking to immerse  yourself in some beautifully translated works (with stunning covers), look no further.

Here’s a list of five gorgeous looking classic translations that will leave you enthralled!

Kalidasa’s Classics

Kalidasa, perhaps the most extraordinary of India’s classical poets, composed seven major works: three plays, two epic poems and two lyric poems. Originally written in Sanskrit, the legacy of the writings have passed on to generations through various translated media. Kalidasa’s classics are also filled with lush imagery—from the magnificence of the bountiful earth to the glory of the celestial gods, from the hypnotic lilt of birdsong to the passionate love stories between couples. This vibrant verbal imagery  translates beautifully into the covers of these books. Whether it be the green hue of the glorious forests in Meghdutam or the myriad of colours in the love story between Shakuntala and Dushyanta in Abhijananashakuntalam or the colour blue depicting the travails of Dashratha in Raghuvamsam, the covers of the translations reflect the beauty of his works.

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My Name is Radha by Sadat Hasan Manto

My Name Is Radha is a path-breaking translation of stories that  delve deep into Manto’s creative world. In this singular collection, the focus rests on Manto the writer. The vibrant pink hue of the cover reflects the boldness  of Manto’s writings and the retro-graphic and font on the cover reflect Muhammad Umar Memon’s attempt to keep true to the artfulness in the translation.

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The Broken Mirror, None Other, and Steps in Darkness

Written and translated by the eminent iconoclast Krishna Baldev Vaid, his writings echo an aspect of the turmoil the people and the Indian subcontinent went through during the time of partition. The perpetuating, almost uncontrollable patterns on the covers of these translations perhaps reflect the myriad moods that people suffered through during those times.

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Have you seen a cover of a translation which has left you awestruck? Share with us!


The Penguin India Blog

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