Avik Gangopadhyay, The Wordsmith of Uncommon Themes

New Delhi [India], April 29: Avik Gangopadhyay, an Indian author and columnist of repute, has 23 published books and 9 Edited Titles in English and Bengali to his credits. His uncommon treatment and interdisciplinary approach to Aesthetics and Theories of Literature, Language and Criticism, not-so-discussed historical issues, Philosophical and religious ‘ISMS’, Indological studies, works on Language Death, Diaspora and Trauma Literature, The Transcreative Psyche, Demystifying the Aryan Invasion Myth have earned him appreciation from Edinburgh University (Scotland, UK), Henrich Heine University (Germany), Sorbonne University (France), Indo Canadian Diaspora Confederation (Canada), Centre for Revitalization of Endangered Languages (NY, Canada), Asia-Europe Foundation (Singapore), Library of Poetry (USA), Raad O Barendra Bhasha Shongskriti Chorcha Porishad (Bangladesh), Varendra Research Society (Bangladesh) & Varada Sidhhi Peetham (India). His Post & Opinion Editorials are published in globally circulated Dailies.

Glimpses of Indian Languages, his latest book in English, a 17-year endeavor, involves a glimpse of the languages of India, be they are developing or vigorous, educational or threatened, languages for wider communication, shifting or moribund, nearly extinct, dormant or extinct languages apart from the regular provincial and national languages. Facts and linguistic outline of the scripts, dialects and languages of India, relation between language, culture and the speakers, issues in time past and present with regard to Indian languages, sources and preservation make way into the pages.

Amazon link

Glimpses of Indian Languages: https://amzn.in/d/7fJ05va 

Let us share a glimpse of his world.

Q1. What has driven you to pen down a book on such a topic? 

Ans- Language serves as the defining element of human intellect, shaping one’s perception of reality. Embedded within language is a worldview that influences how cognition constructs subjective understanding. Through its inherent structure, language facilitates the translation of the external world into a cognitive framework. While this process is individualistic, the societal transmission of language ensures an objective aspect to its creative power. Language not only communicates cognitive outcomes but also molds cognition itself, organizing the perceived chaos of the world into structured human knowledge. Consequently, the diversity of languages results in nuanced alterations to the constructed reality. To explore this phenomenon and its implications, I preferred my linguistic research should pivot towards a comparative analysis of different languages.

Q2. You are already a published author and awarded for writings books on dead languages and cultures. Is this new book a sequel? 

Ans- Death of Language (Bilingual) is usually regarded as my magnum opus. The scope of exploring the notion of dead languages is still limited. This edition for the first time explores the world of the dead languages, extinct languages, endangered languages, the withering cultural heritage along with death of languages, the languages about to die, the causes of death of a language, reconstruction of language, the loss of language even after it reaches its linguistic zenith, research and theories by the modern theorists and touches on some topics related to state of different languages but with a focus on India.

Q3. Who do you consider as an inspiration? 

Ans- My father, Late Manab Gangopadhyay, a novelist extraordinaire, known for creating “an idiom of mind,” has shaped all that I am. A noted academician, litterateur, critic and philosopher like him as a father made me inter disciplinarian at the core. My mother Late Sriparna Gangopadhyay, a celebrated classical dancer and singer of songs of Tagore and light classical Bhajans, has also mentored my emotional and finer aesthetic perceptions. I also intend to mention the role of Bengal, my part of the world, which has produced a galaxy of class writers in world literature. I am very much born out of it. 

Q4. Do you think your exposure to other languages and cultures have shaped you in a way?

Ans- To some extent, yes. From childhood I have been exposed to French, German and Sanskrit languages apart from Bengali, English and Hindi.

Later on, with the passage of time, I found all the ancient epics of the world, selected Greco-Roman drama, works during the Italian and European Renaissance, late Victorian, modern and postmodern poets, novelists and dramatists across the globe, including Asian literature have had immense influence on my creative and critical bent.

The “critic, columnist and academic” label has been there as a known tag with me both at home and abroad. But my first collection of stories had been released at Oxford Gallery, Kolkata, in 2019, and I am much gratified, that it’s a success. The sacred and enigmatic space of learning played cynosure all through my life. My literature revolves keeping a very close proximity to History and evolution.

Q5. You are known and recognized by international universities for your extensive research on interdisciplinary studies. How do you connect this work with the concepts of your other books?

Ans- One of my seminal works, Diaspora & Trauma Literature (Bilingual), endeavors to approach the yet-to-be definitive genre Diaspora, Diasporic Theory and Literature, bringing home the reality of the refugees, asylum-seekers, returnees, internally displaced and stateless persons across the globe, diaspora as transnationalism or exile, as an apology for internationalism, cultural hybridity through the narratives of immigrant literature. This book touches the psychology of the displaced persons with regard to languages.

Author website: www.avikauthorindia.in 

Author can be reached at: avikgmas2@gmail.com 

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By Muskan Singh