Milan Kundera’s popular book ‘Art of Fiction’ translated into Urdu

PAL’s initiative to popularize novel writing yielding fruit!

Zubair Qureshi

If we look at the list of Nobel laureates in literature, we shall find most of them are fiction writers and very few are poets. Chairman Pakistan Academy of Letters (PAL) Dr Qasim Bughio said this while introducing PAL’s latest work i.e. translation of world renowned book ‘Art of Fiction’ by eminent fiction writer Milan Kundera into Urdu by Arshad Wahid as “Novel ka Funn.”
Dr Bughio was of the view that in Pakistan the situation is opposite. Here we find poets are more in number than the fiction writers, which is though not a bad thing yet a matter of concern. In order to encourage the young fiction writers and promote the art of fiction this book is being published from the PAL. One reason for publishing the book is that in Pakistan very little material is available on the art of novel writing. The books which were once available in the market are now either out of stock or they exist no more. The book he said will provide an insight into the art of fiction writing and concept of novel writing by a great writer of our times.
Milan Kundera is one of the well known writers of the world. Born 1 April 1929, he is a Czech-born French writer who went into exile in France in 1975, and became a naturalized French citizen in 1981. He “sees himself as a French writer and insists his work should be studied as French literature and classified as such in book stores.” Kundera’s best-known work is The Unbearable Lightness of Being. Prior to the Velvet Revolution of 1989 the Communist régime in Czechoslovakia banned his books.
He lives virtually incognito and rarely speaks to the media. A perennial contender for the Nobel Prize in Literature, he is believed to have been nominated on several occasions. The book under discussion “Art of Fiction” is translated into Urdu as “Novel ka Funn” by Arshad Wahid. PAL has launched a project of translating world known literature into Urdu and Kundera’s book is part of that project. Arshad Wahid is a well known name in the genre of literature and earlier he has rendered translation to another work of Milan Kundera into Urdu as “Baqa-e-Dawam”.

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