"Make it new."
Graham Moore, The New York Times, January 2017:
"... O God! a beast that wants...याचं भाषांतर श्री. नाईक करतात : अरे देवा,
'अरे देवा' हे शब्द वाचून मला लहानपणी अर्नाळकरांनी शब्दशः भाषांतरित केलेल्या डिटेक्टिव्ह कादंबऱ्यांची आठवण झाली! नायकाने 'अरे देवा!' अस म्हटल्यावर आम्ही हसायचो!..."
ब. ल. वष्ट, वाङ्मय शोभा, सप्टेंबर १९५०:
In January 2017, I read two articles.
"(वाटत होते.) पण हाच वाचक तद्दन रंजनप्रधान नाटके पाहतो, ‘विविध भारती’वरची प्राणहीन मराठी गाणी ऐकतो, कोळीनृत्य व लावणी ही त्याची सांस्कृतिक घटनांची व्याख्या असते. त्याने रहस्यकथेकडे पाठ फिरवण्याचा अर्थ मला कळत नाही..."
I first read Sherlock Holmes, in Marathi, in early 1970's. Most of them I had borrowed it from a small book lending library. During the same period, out of curiosity, I also read Arnalkar's novels. Although I did finish reading a few of Arnalkar's novels, I never fell in love with them unlike the books- most in Marathi- of Doyle, Erle Stanley Gardner, James Hadley Chase, Alistair MacLean, Narayan Dharap (नारायण धारप), Gurunath Naik (गुरुनाथ नाईक), Shrikant Sinkar (श्रीकांत सिनकर), Indrajal Comics featuring Phantom, Mandrake and Flash Gordon.
As the late Mr. Sarang opines above, I often felt as an adolescent that Mr. Arnalkar was translating from English word for word. My son, 23, once an avid reader of books, was/is unlikely to even touch his books. Moreover the kids these days get to read Sherlock of Doyle as well as Sherlock that has been made new. On top of that we have to reckon with the decline of conventional books (अक्षर वाङ्मय) in the pecking order. For an urban middle-class young person today, video games, mobile telephony and TV serials come much higher. Elkunchwar himself admits: "...आज पुन्हा अर्नाळकर मी वाचतो तेव्हा कंटाळा येतो;..."
We also have to take into consideration the imported inspiration that was available to Mr. Arnalkar: Noir films and glorious tradition of pulp magazines. (I have always felt that the golden age of Hindi cinema 1949-1965 freely borrowed from noir films and Jazz music.)
courtesy: 20th Century Fox
Even crime fiction written in Marathi is of the same average (to mediocre) quality as most of the fictional writing done in it in 20th century. Mr. Arnalkar, who was a better writer than most of the contemporary Marathi novelists, entertained millions of Marathi readers and we all should be grateful to him for that.