Representative Short stories by Nobel Prize winners.

Professor. DR Saadat SAEED

Urdu and Pakistan studies chair Ankara University Turkey



(Discussion on works of Bjornstjerne Bjornson, Rabindranath Tagore, Knut Hamsun, Anatole France, Thomas Mann, Ivan Beono, Luigi Pirandello, Hermann Hesse, William Faulkner, Betrend Russell, Hemigway, Albert Camus, John Steinback, Jean Paul Sartre, Alexendrovitch Sholokov, Heinrich Bol, Singer, Gabriel Garcia Marques, Najib Mahfooz, Comello Jozesilla, and Oactavio Paz.)

Wajahat Masood a brilliant poet, critic and translator has translated 21 short stories by 21 top-notch writers who served life and literature generously and won the Nobel Prize at the peak of their literary career. Wajahat Masood's poetry as well as his prose indicate his strong love for humanity. He is a man of taste. His committed approach suggests that the future of a forceful literary voice is very bright. He has translated from English short stories by writers belonging to distinct nations and languages. His work has been appreciated in the literary circles of Lahore. Wajahat Masood has translated short stories by Bjornstjeme Bjornson, (Norway, Nobel Prize 1903) Rabindra Nath Tagore (Bengal 1913), Knut Hamsun (Norway, 1920), Anatole France (France, 1921), Thomas Mann (Germany, 1992), Ivan Beonon (Russia 1933), Luigi Pirandello (Italy, 1934), Hermann Hesse (Germany, 1946), William faulkner (America, 1949), Bertrand Russell (England, 1950), Albert Camus (France, 1957), John Steinbeck (America, 1962), Heinrich Bol (Germany,1972) Singer (America, 1978), Gabriel Garcia Marques (Columbia, 1982), Najib Mahfooz (Egypt, 1988) Comello Jozesilla (Spain, 1989) and Oactavio Paz (Mexico, 1990).

These writers are of sound merit in their own right. Wajahat is a dedicated lover of international literature. His humanism is global. He is trying to keep intact his kinks with universal humanism through his prolific translation work.

His book and literary columns are revealing evidence of his emotion. The book has been published by Jang Publications. It will go a long way to familiarise Urdu readers with global literary values and passions. Wajahat Masood has been working selflessly for the enrichment of Urdu language. His loyalty to his creative soul is making him a distinguished intellectual. It is not a hidden reality that the mysteries of the domain of literature have oceanic depths. Sometimes they mirror the odorous colours of rainbow. It requires great dare and honesty to analyse these colours and to search light from the darkness of these depths. The world is divided into various countries. Everything in it is national nowadays. Literature, too is produced under the umbrella of national culture and values. Albeit great literature is produced living in the confinements of some country, however by virtue of its humanistic slant it crosses the borders, The literature belonging to above mentioned Nobel prize winners due to its greatness, in the first place is national and at the second is international. Great writers possess amazing and phenomenal potential and calibre. They stand on their own pedestal of calibre and brilliance. The great Nobel prize winners with their new ideas and new ways of expression mark crucial turning points in the history of thought, traditions and feelings. The great writers hold up the mirror to the perplexities of the world around them. They often reflect paradoxical situations difficult for them to ignore concrete realities based on contradictory spirits. This is the reason why they see situations in totality.

Wajahat writes about Bjomslijeme Bjorson. "He struggled continuously for social justice, and depicted Norwegian village life in his short stories," his prose and poetry both are charged with uncommon imagination and spiritual attractiveness.

Rabindranath Tagore was the first Asian who got Nobel prize. He was a poet, playwright, novelist and short story writer His writings contain religious creeds, romanticism, psychological depths, social information's and philosophical approach.

Knut Hamsun won this prize for his book "The growth of soil" He depicted the influence of poverty on a humble man in his book entitled "Hunger"  His philosophical approach made him a serious writer He lacked ethical ideas.

While giving the Nobel prize to Anatole France, the Swedish Academy said: "this prize is given for his grand literary writings which are written in a powerful and sophisticated style. His creations posses broadmindedness  for humanity, real  beauty and French nature.

As far as Thomas Mann's writings are concerned  it is said that he has "gathered together in his own distinctive and ironic style impulses from Goethe, Schopenhauer, Nietzsche, Wagner and from the great nineteenth century French, Scandinavian and Russian novelists".

Ivan Beonon waited for a long time to gain popularity and fame. He himself told the reason and wrote "I was far away from politics. Even I was not attached with literary school. I never called myself an orthodox or symbolist, romantic or realist."

Luigi Pirandello was offered Nobel prize for giving new life to play writing with dare and real impact. He also wrote many short stories and novels.

Wajahat declares that Hermann Hesse wrote stiffing novels on the issues of keen and probing human spirit. Representing contemporary mind he tried to search eternal realities.

The writer of "Sound and the fury",  "Sartories", "As I am dying", Light in August" and Absalom, Absalom," William Faulkner is famous for his experimental literature. He used the technique of stream of consciousness impressively. Time-shift and criss-cross description in his dramas, novels and short stories played a significant role in apprehending new realities. His books under the titles of "The Marionettes", " the marble Faun", "Light in August", "The wild palms ", "Go down Moses ", " Intruder in Dust", "The hamlet", "The Town" " The mansions" earned  him a great fame during his life time.

Bertrand Russell wrote several scientific, literary and philosophical books. He was a man of principles. Throughout his life he fought for human rights specifically the freedom of expression.

Hemingway was awarded the Nobel prize on his novel "Old man and the sea" It is an epic of fearless struggle. His humanistic approach seems to his readers , at its height in his other great novels "A farewell to arms" and "For whom the bell tolls" He also penned many short stories. His brief and lucid sentences make his symbolic studies insightful.

Albert Camus was a literary rebel. He resisted inhuman incidents and situations till his early death. His symbolic novels "Plague" and Stranger" "the Rebel" reflect his existential studies thoroughly. His philosophical book "The Myth of Sisyphus" presents the crisis of suicide in a world of routine absurdity.

Jean Paul Sartre, the founder of atheistic modem existentialism wrote many philosophical opus such as "Being and nothingness" and A critique of dialectical reason". He is also famous for his novels, plays, short stories and articles on literature and art. His book of short stories entitled "Intimacy has been widely appreciated by the lover of literature. His courageous struggle against German fascism, Western imperialism and Russian social imperialism opened new vistas for young generations all over the world. He fought for the rights of wretched of the earth bravely. His creations "words" "What is literature ","Nausea" "The wall" claim outstanding merit.

Alexendrovitch Sholokov used realist technique in his novel and short stories.

Heinrich Bol explored ugly human situations through his fiction.

Singer declares" hen literature becomes the tool of any "ism" it seizes to be literature.

Gabriel Garcia Marquees was pro-workers and poor people. His remarkable imagination  works wonder in reflecting the realities of life and society.

Najib Mahfooz seems a Muslim socialist in his fiction. He is a committed writer. His fiction exposes the hidden rigidities of life. 

ComeIIo Jozesilla's novels fall in the modernist tradition of literature. In spite of the open portrayal of harsh realities of life, he remains away from pessimism. For him the political oppression ruins real social life. 

As a diplomat Octavio Paz got the chances to live in Afghanistan, India and France. He wrote many poems in the context of the unique historical perspectives and social circumstances of these countries. His poetic expressions in his short stories has given a new dimension to Latin American fiction.

Although the names of the Nobel prize winners are shining on the horizon of world literature brightly, however Urdu readership was deprived of their creations since long. The translation by Wajahat Masood has fulfilled a long standing need of the Urdu World.