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“A giddy invasion of stories–brilliant, enigmatic, troubling, outrageous, erotic, beautiful.” –The New York Times Book Review “So brilliant. With the same narrative fecundity and imaginative sympathy he brought to his acclaimed retelling of the Greek myths, Roberto Calasso plunges Western readers. At once novel, cultural essay, mythology, and collection of linked stories, Italian writer Calasso’s newest is a buoyant, expansive narrative that.

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He begins with a mystery: Taking the book in its own right then, there’s a lot of dense material here. Dedicated to the French statesman Talleyrand, it was followed in by The Marriage of Cadmus and Harmonyin which the tale of Cadmus and his wife Harmonia becomes a pretext for re-telling the great tales of Greek mythology and reflecting on the reception of Greek culture for a contemporary readership. When the glossary proved to be equally confusing I gave up on that.

Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read. But that’s a weak foundation for understanding the complex nature of Indian mythology. Immortality proved to be oppressive. Difficult, dense, but probably rewarding, if you were willing to put more effort into it than I was. Fascinating journeying through the book, I found myself wishing that it never ended, rather than getting to the end. And craving for more. The detailed and yes, often bordering on the erotic descriptions of various Vedic ceremonies are somewhat interesting, especially to people who have only known the television versions.

His books have been translated into most European languages. The soma in Chapter X is associated with knowledge, as conveyed through a parable strikingly similar to Plato’s cave. Along with his status as a major analyst specifically of the works of Kafka, Calasso has, more broadly, been active in many essays in retrieving and re-invigorating the notion of a Central European literary culture.

The language is extremely dense and author has freely used metaphors and interrogatives, causing a near soporific effect. It’s a beautiful and compelling read. K restricts the focus to a single author, Franz Kafka ; this trend continues with Il rosa Tiepoloinspired by an adjective used by Proust to describe a shade of pink used by Tiepolo in his paintings. Literary Criticism Religion Category: And sometime this would last for weeks before I could return to it.


I was amazed by the breadth and depth of the author’s understanding.

Anything, so long roherto there be a trial, a risk, a task. There were flashes of brilliance that did sink in, and here they are. This is magical realism spoken like realism, but the story is all magical and I don’t care. Un eccellente ed interessantissimo viaggio attraverso la Filosofia indiana sulla riga del concetto d “Soma”.


Calasso has worked for the publishing firm of Adelphi Edizioni since its founding by Roberto Bazlen in and became its Chairman in He was arrested by the fascist militia after the assassination of Giovanni Gentile and sentenced to be killed in reprisal, but was saved by the intervention of both friends of Gentile, with whom the family had connections on the maternal side, and by the German consul Gerhard Wolf. Their union was disrupted by a son and god, Rudra, who fired an arrow into his father’s groin, kw him to squirt his seed onto the ground.

May 18, Keram Malicki-Sanchez rated it really liked it Shelves: Telling a story is a way of having things happen at the highest possible speed, that of the mind. But this book strings all the mythological tales together very intelligently and riberto a perspective that only someone with a wider perspective of human nature and thought processes can give.

The trend for portraying whole civilizations continues with Ka where the subject of the re-writing is Hindu mythology. Exhausting, to digest and experience the prose. Calasso’s talent for imagery and subtle poetry makes it far less tedious than it has to be.

But perhaps this flaw is a blessing or even the vital force in that telling itself. Also in Vintage International.


Ka: Stories of the Mind and Gods of India by Roberto Calasso

An absolutely beautiful book- though has some moments I feel could have been condensed. It started out well, but very quickly became dry. They were a sami and an asvattha. Published November 2nd by Vintage first published September It is also very sexy.

Ka by Roberto Calasso | : Books

In the story-within-a-story, Ganga was initially a proud woman who thought she could sweep Siva away like a robeeto. View all 4 comments. Praise “The very best book about Hindu mythology that anyone has ever written…A magnificent reading of Hindu texts.

To solve the problem of mind, he created sex.

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up. It has to be savoured over many nights. Most Indians would have heard almost all the tales that are mentioned in this book. It is a charming explanation of how the great Ganges came into being. Why should the mind be before and after every other thing? To solve that problem Brahma created Death.

In a later passage, Calasso links Krsna and Arjuna to these two birds of the Vedic hymn, no longer on opposite branches of the same tree, but on a war chariot. But life exists–or is perceived to exist–only to the extent that it allows the parasite of consciousness to grown upon it.

It was Ananda who persuaded the Buddha to admit women into the priesthood. Some of the most beautiful prose I have read, let alone in what appears to be a non-fiction book, though that is an impossible qualification considering it is exploring the origins of Hindu mythology. It was hard to see which was which.

And the mind imagined that Self as having consistency. Looking for More Great Reads?