hamsa (2)

Julia Leslie jl6 at SOAS.AC.UK
Wed Feb 13 13:12:46 UTC 2002

Dear Lance,
You're right, of course. Hamsa often denotes the goose, which was
rejected in English translations for the reasons you describe. But
this has led to a blanket translation (goose) for all uses. Hence the
importance of Vogel's work. My concern is that 'goose' doesn't
always fit...

On 13 Feb 02, at 10:07, L.S.Cousins wrote:

> Juilia,
> Just a quick comment. My impression was that the translation by
> 'goose' was unacceptable at one time because of the connotations to
> ordinary people in England (and perhaps elsewhere) of the word goose: 'the
> silly goose', etc. You simply couldn't use the word in translating a
> poetic context. I don't think this necessarily meant that people thought
> the ha.msa was a swan. They just avoided the rendering 'goose' because at
> that time it would make Indian literature appear ridiculous to the
> ordinary English reader. (Some people nowadays would have a rather
> different impression of geese due to wild-life programs, etc.)
> >         The first view is usually held by Indian scholars who have
> >         perhaps
> >been influenced by the vernacular uses of the term: according to this
> >view, hamsa always denotes a swan. What might be called the old school of
> >Western scholars agrees.
> Lance Cousins
> --

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