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by Roberto Calasso
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History & Criticism
  • Author:
    Roberto Calasso
  • ISBN:
    0679775471
  • ISBN13:
    978-0679775478
  • Genre:
  • Publisher:
    Vintage; F First Paperback Edition Used edition (November 2, 1999)
  • Pages:
    464 pages
  • Subcategory:
    History & Criticism
  • Language:
  • FB2 format
    1730 kb
  • ePUB format
    1192 kb
  • DJVU format
    1659 kb
  • Rating:
    4.1
  • Votes:
    470
  • Formats:
    doc lrf lit rtf


KA, by the Italian writer Roberto Calasso, is a breathtaking and revelatory book

KA, by the Italian writer Roberto Calasso, is a breathtaking and revelatory book Calasso is a full-flower European intellectual, and I'll match any odds you offer that he is familiar with Heinrich Zimmer and Mircea Eliade and all the great twentieth-century mythographers, but that's all behind the prose; he is also, here, an artist working solely, with an expressive and sensuous style, to render the tale for the tale's sake: myth.

With the same startling originality and brilliance that made his "The Marriage of Cadmus and Harmony" a literary landmark, Calasso narrates the birth of one of the world's great cultures: the formation of the mind of India.

Here are the stories of the creation of mind and matter; of the origin of Death, of the first sexual union and the first parricide. We learn why Siva must carry his father's skull, why snakes have forked tongues, and why, as part of a certain sacrifice, the king's wife must copulate with a dead horse.

Here are the stories of the creation of mind and matter; of the origin of Death, of the first sexual . With the same narrative fecundity and imaginative sympathy he brought to his acclaimed retelling of the Greek myths, Roberto Calasso plunges Western readers into the mind of ancient India. He begins with a mystery: Why is the most important god in the Rg Veda, the oldest of India's sacred texts, known by a secret name-"Ka," or Who?

Roberto Calasso (born 30 May 1941 in Florence) is an Italian writer and publisher. Ka: Stories of the Mind and Gods of India.

Roberto Calasso (born 30 May 1941 in Florence) is an Italian writer and publisher. Apart from his mother tongue, Calasso is fluent in French, English, Spanish, German, Latin and ancient Greek. He has also studied Sanskrit. He has been called "a literary institution of one"  . Parks' translation was retold in 2005 by Geeta Dharmarajan as Ka: The Story of Garuda. Bruce Chatwin Fotografo.

Ka: Stories of the Mind and Gods of India by Roberto Calasso. Author: Richard Rosen. Updated: Apr 5, 2017. Original: Aug 28, 2007. The sacred literature of Hinduism is traditionally divided into two "families. In the older of the two are the books of revelation, held in highest esteem by all orthodox worshipers. These books are called shruti ("hearing") because they contain the perennial wisdom "heard" by the ancient rishis ("seers") in states of heightened awareness.

My wife and I are moving out of the apartment we’ve rented for the last five years and into another apartment in the same neighborhood. The onerous task of culling through our books has fallen to me – perhaps justly, since I’m the one who collected most of the damned things in the first place. My goal is to discard at least two boxes. I’ve been struck, though, by the number of books on my shelves that I found among other people’s discards

It is the essence of Roberto Calasso's particular genius to have evolved a unique way of reconstructing the . He does not describe or explain this mental world: he regenerates it through its stories and customs.

It is the essence of Roberto Calasso's particular genius to have evolved a unique way of reconstructing the imaginative heart of some of the world's greatest cultures. In The Marriage of Cadmus and Harmony it was the 'Greekness' of classical culture; in Ka he gives us the 'Indianness' of the mind of India, but in an Indian way. He does not describe or explain this mental world: he regenerates it through its stories and customs

for us, Calasso invites us to understand India on Indian terms, through Indian images, through India itself. About the author (1998). Roberto Calasso was born in Florence in 1941. In 1962, he joined Adelphi Edizioni, the distinguished Italian publishing house.

Rejecting our cravings to have the culture systematized and predigested for us, Calasso invites us to understand India on Indian terms, through Indian images, through India itself. As Ka unfolds, the worlds of the Devas, of ´ Siva, Brahm-a and Visnu, of the wars of the Mah-abh-arata, are splendidly revealed, until finally, with the advent of the Buddha, we are amazed at our own sense of recognition, for these stories seem to confirm, or toarticulate for the first time, our own deepest perceptions about our human condition.

"A giddy invasion of stories--brilliant, enigmatic, troubling, outrageous, erotic, beautiful." --The New York Times Book Review"So brilliant that you can't look at it anymore--and you can't look at anything else. . . . No one will read it without reward." --The Boston GlobeWith the same narrative fecundity and imaginative sympathy he brought to his acclaimed retelling of the Greek myths, Roberto Calasso plunges Western readers into the mind of ancient India. He begins with a mystery: Why is the most important god in the Rg Veda, the oldest of India's sacred texts, known by a secret name--"Ka," or Who?     What ensues is not an explanation, but an unveiling. Here are the stories of the creation of mind and matter; of the origin of Death, of the first sexual union and the first parricide. We learn why Siva must carry his father's skull, why snakes have forked tongues, and why, as part of a certain sacrifice, the king's wife must copulate with a dead horse. A tour de force of scholarship and seduction, Ka is irresistible. "Passage[s] of such ecstatic insight and cross-cultural synthesis--simply, of such beauty."  --The New York Review of Books"All is spectacle and delight, and tiny mirrors reflecting human foibles are set into the weave,turning this retelling into the stuff of literature." --The New Yorker

Vutaur
Great book for those interested in diving into the mythologies of India. For yoga teachers, yoga students, or anyone interested in mythologies. Calasso's style of writing is engaging and never felt I was trudging through a text book. By the end I wanted to go back and reread from the start. It's set up as individual chapters that are self-contained stories (as opposed to a full novel narrative), and yet the entire book is connected via references of common figures/characters in the mythos.
Rocky Basilisk
One of the best critics, essayists, philosophers alive today. This is part of a series on religion unlike anything else available. This one is about Hinduism. He's also written on Greece, Baudelaire, art history, Tiepolo, and numerous critical essays on a variety of topics. Superb writer. (This portion of review repeats for other books.) This is a companion volume to Ardor (q.v.), also Hinduism but more in his usual narrative fashion.
Landamath
Having read the reviews that have already been posted, it is clear to me that there is no more to be said other than this work is phenomenal. I am grateful to Roberto Calasso for writing it and Tim Parks for translating it so beautifully.
YSOP
The author writes beautifully and he can keep your attention for awhile, especially in the first few chapters. He weaves the stories of the Indian culture together beautifully but being Indian, I have heard these stories told to me by my family. The author has changed certain stories so he can better make the story flow but the changes frustrated me and I would stop reading for a few days only to pick it up back again. I haven't finished it and I doubt I will. If you have some knowledge of these stories you will appreciate this book by being able to recognize the changes.
Lbe
An interesting amalgama of traditional mythology and personal points of view. Not as easily readable as the Marriage of Cadmus and Harmonia.
Hucama
best book ever!
Jarortr
best book ever
Calasso's works tend to be illuminating and humbling in equal portions, and this is no exception. If you've read any of the ancient stories in more traditional forms -- Hamilton's mythology, or a translation of the Bhagvad-gita for example, you're in for a big surpise. Get ready. And if you think of yourself as reasonably well read, Calasso will make you feel illiterate. This man seems to have read, and digested everything.
In this work, Calasso illustrates the religious thought of India through a retelling of many stories. It might be more fair to say reimaging, but I'd hate to mislead you into thinking this is some sort of postmodernist 'recontextualizing' of the stories. Calasso's not trying to subvert the stories, but rather to get inside them. The reader ends up with intuitions, and a sense of complex relationships, rather than a reductionist or reconstructed version of the tales.
If you're more familiar with western traditions, I recommend "The Marriage of Cadmus and Harmony" as an introduction to his technique. But if you're interested in the people and culture of India but have found the other works either too archaic or new-agey, this is a great introduction.