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- Tuesday, September 17, 2013 - From Print Edition




‘Kafka Kahanian’ adds a new dimension to the perception and philosophy of Franz Kafka by projecting all the irrationalities portrayed by the author with clarity, creativity, and innovative description. Translated in to Urdu by Mohammad Asim Butt in various frequencies of simplicity, complication, abstraction and symbolism, the book offers a complex philosophy of rhetoric in simple illustration for the Urdu readers.


Translating Kafka’s stories into Urdu, Asim Butt’s creative effort made possible for him to come out with a vibrant shade to offer Urdu readers re-experience the fading colours in the field of literature.


Asim Butt through his book has captured artistically not only the precision of Kafka’s style but also the allegorical and dramatic tenors in depiction of realities of life and the world of his invisible experience.


In his own words, Asim Butt rightly points out “In Kafka’s works with the help of specific novel form, rhythm and distinct vocabulary of symbols, a new vast world comes into existence.” Asim Butt’s translation of ‘Kafka Kahanian’ becomes all the more creatively intense yet unpretentious through use of apt words having great magical tones. Kafka’s vicinities of content and form in absorbing new impressions and expressions come as vibrantly innovative in Asim Butt’s translation.


Asim’s translation truly captures Kafka’s obsession for the paradoxical nature of human existence and reflects it successfully in his creations in vivid evocative style, deciphering the basic philosophy of the author regarding the basic conditions of human existence and chases the visible or invisible pains and wounds in every phase of actuality.


Muhammad Asim Butt’s ‘Kafka Kahanian’ published by Jang Publications is a great achievement by a creative writer contributing something exceptional and memorable to Urdu literature.


Muhammad Asim Butt obtained a master’s degree in philosophy from Government College University, Lahore, Pakistan. Starting his career as a journalist, he shifted to the development sector as human rights activist.


Currently he is working with Pakistan Academy of Letters as Editor of quarterly Adabiyaat, a reputed literary magazine.


Translating Kafka from English text, Asim Butt has tried to maintain descriptive elements of his style presented successfully in an impressive and explicit diction. Asim has selected several weighty short stories such as Metamorphosis, Judgement, Passer-by, The street Window, The new advocate, Jackals and Arabs, A Dream, Mouse Polk, The Barren, The Giant Mole, Knock at the Mirror’s Door, and Poseidon, for Urdu translation from Kafka’s famous collections Meditations, A country Doctor, reportages, letters and a few comments on Kafka’s life and works are also included in Kafka Kahanian.


Asim writes about the profundity of the works by his ideal.” Like every great Artist Kafka’s literature has several thick lairs of meaning to which many generations would reveal in parts. Probably I belong to the second generation after the death of Kafka. Many of his literary lairs were probed and discovered by our predecessors. We, too, have explored a few and leftover would be at the disposal of future generations. However no generation solely and finally could claim that it had discovered Kafka completely’.


Asim Butt’s other publications include; Ishtihaar Aaadmi (short stories), Daira (novel), Dastak (short stories), Kabhi Na Khatam Hoanay Wali Kahaani, (novel), Sou Azeem Aadami, Muhabbat Key Khatoot (Love Letters by Khalil Gibran), Mukhtasar Tareekh-e-Alam, Marco Polo Ka Safarnama (Travelogue by Marco Polo), Muhammad, (A Biography of the Prophet by Karen Armstrong), Toahmat ki Dunya, Bey Mousam Key Phool (A selection of Japanese stories), Sarif Nama (introduction to consumer rights), Fidelio (by Ludwig van Beethoven), and Taaleem Ka Liberal Nuqta-e-Nazar (Liberal Readings on Education’ by Stefan Melnik and Sascha Tamm), and ‘Tale of Four Saints’ (Retelling of Persian classic tale ‘Qissah Chahaar Darvaish in English.