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Play on Salgari�s Guwahati-based novels

By Staff Reporter

GUWAHATI, March 24 - Italian scholar Alessandra Messali, who is touring the Northeast region to explore the differences between the texts and the ground reality of the novels of Italian novelist Emilio Salgari, which are based on Guwahati, is directing an Italian play � Emilio Salgari and the Tiger � which is being staged at the KL Borooah Auditorium of the State Museum here on March 26 from 6.30 pm.

The play is loosely based on the Quest for a Throne and The Brahman from Assam written by Emilio Salgari in Italy and set in the conditions prevailing in Guwahati and Assam in 1870. The play is being interpreted by the students of the Handique Girls� College, English Department, said Messali in a press release mailed to this newspaper here today.

Between 1907-1911, Emilo Salgari published four books � Alla conquista di un impero (Quest for a Throne), Il Bramino dell�Assam (The False Brahman), La caduta di un impero (An Empire Crumbles) and La rivincita di Yanez (Yanez� Revenge) set in the 19th-century Guwahati.

The four books set in Guwahati are the last novels of the Indo-Malay series written by Salgari between 1883 and 1911.

Salgari (1862-1911) was a popular Italian writer who wrote more than 200 adventure stories set in exotic locations, but he never travelled outside Italy, gaining inspiration rather from foreign literature, newspapers, travel magazines and encyclopedias.

Salgari�s novels have contributed to creating the idea of an exotic India that is still present in Italian culture and even if he is one of the most translated of Italian writers, his books are unknown outside the Western world, said Messali.

In collaboration with noted writer Kumudeswar Hazarika, Prof Paromita Das of the Gauhati University History Department, Santanu Phukan of the Cotton College English Department, and Mitali Goswami and Tasrina Iqbal of the Handique Girls� College English Department, Alessandra Messali is working on the books of Emilio Salgari and analyzing the incongruity between text and context.

The play is the result of her research on the books, which are translated with the help of students of the Handique Girls� College English Department, Messali said.

Bamboo walkway: William West and Paolo Rosso, also from Italy, undertook a project on constructing a bamboo walkway on the Manikarneswar Hill, North Guwahati in 2011 with the help of artisans from Guwahati and Majuli. It will be opened at 11 am of March 27 next.

Former Director of Archaeology Dr HN Dutta will deliver a lecture on the occasion at 12.30 pm that day, Messali said.

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