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. Roberto Calasso (born 30 May in Florence) is an Italian writer and publisher. Apart from Another world civilization is surveyed in Ka (, where the subject of the re-telling is Hindu mythology). K restricts the focus to a single author. In Ka Roberto Calasso has taken the sprawling body of classical Sanskrit literature and synthesized it into a kind of novel. Each of its fourteen chapters.
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Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read. Want to Read saving…. Want to Read Currently Reading Read. Refresh and try again. Open Preview See a Problem? Thanks for telling us about the problem. Return to Book Page. Preview — Ka by Roberto Calasso. Tim Parks Goodreads Author Translator. 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?
What ensues is not an explanation, but an With the same narrative fecundity and imaginative sympathy he brought to his cqlasso retelling of the Greek myths, Roberto Calasso plunges Western readers into calaso mind of ancient India. 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.
Paperbackpages. Published November 2nd by Vintage first published September To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up. To ask other readers questions about Kaplease caladso up.
Lists with This Book. Feb 11, Michael rated it it was amazing Shelves: It reminds us that it will go on happening forever.
And like the waters, it assumes the shapes of those forces that press upon ia. The mind was what transformed and what was transformed.
It was the warmth, the hidden flame behind the bones, the succession and dissolution of shapes sketched on the ak — and the sensation of knowing that was happening. Pampered by its own omnipotence, its own capacity to connect and identify everything with everything, the mind needs an obstacle at least as big as the world. But perhaps this flaw is a blessing or even the vital force in that telling itself. If you read as a means and not an end, i. Jun 18, James Murphy rated it it was amazing.
What Calasso did with western classical callasso in The Marriage of Cadmus and Harmony he also does with Indian mythology. I was aware that Kali represents death and that Ganesha ja the head of an elephant. A few years ago I read The Mahabharata.
I have a basic familiarity with the life of Buddha. But that’s a weak foundation for understanding the complex nature of Indian mythology. As a westerner I doubt I can properly appreciate calassso one reading the nuances and richness of their mythic traditi What Calasso did with western classical mythology in The Marriage of Cadmus and Harmony he also does with Indian mythology.
As a westerner I doubt I can properly appreciate in one reading the nuances and richness of their mythic tradition. Fortunately, Calasso’s beautiful writing transcends my ignorance. Unable to understand the intricate spiderweb of associations and meanings involved in these stories, I nevertheless relished the poetic prose with which he tells them. As if he realizes some may have diffuculty relating to the material, Calasso occasionally makes a comparison to western references.
In this way we learn that Prajapati is like the K. They are 2 of the mileposts marking the journey Calasso takes us on, one filled with colorful landscapes and characters as enchanting kq they are frightening. It’s a beautiful and compelling read. View all 4 comments.
May 20, Neha Asthana rated it it was amazing. Ka is a work of art, no less by the very brave Roberto Calasso. Fascinating journeying through the book, I found myself wishing that it never ended, rather than getting to the end. Now my only choice is to keep re-reading it.
Existen pasajes de una inteligencia asombrosa y otros de una emotividad conmovedora. Es calaxso libro que exige mucho del lector porque lo que entrega es un tesoro.
May 18, Keram Malicki-Sanchez rated it really liked it Shelves: 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.
Ka (Roberto Calasso) – book review
la Reading this made my brain feel effervescent, and I often had to put the book down after a paragraph simply to savor what I had just read. And sometime this would last for weeks before I could return to it. Mar 15, Chitranjan Tyagi rated it it was amazing. Ka is a great book about the gods and religious practices of ancient India.
I read this book in Hindi and in a day. It was great to read the interpretation of an outsider. I do not know if anybody has said so much in such brevity on this topic.
Although, it covers only minuscule section of Indian myths and stories, still it makes a great reading. Ogni amante ama innanzitutto un assente. L’assenza precede la presenza, nell’ordine gerarchico. Ma questo non diminuisce minimamente il dolore. Nov 02, Brooke Everett rated it it was ok. It took me over an hour to finish that salad and I may or may not have cried a little bit. I tend to reach for a book I think will be good for my brain to counteract a feeling I get every now and again that the Internet and my life are making me stupid.
Not unlike the salad incident, this book was mostly tortuous and I made myself finish it. I began eagerly, frequently flipping back and forth to the glossary in an attempt to keep everything straight. When the glossary proved to be equally confusing I gave up on that. If there were actual stories or a narrative I think it would have been easier to remain engaged, but the text flowed as stream of consciousness on big, weighty, cosmological questions.
I assuaged my resulting feelings of being extra dumb by realizing it would be difficult for me, a mere mortal, to understand such matters anyway. There were flashes of brilliance that did sink in, and here they are. Perhaps hopefully I absorbed more than I thought.
What attracted her most was obscurity. Something invisible that happens within thought. Something that adds a new quality to thought: Telling a story is a way of having things happen at the highest possible speed, that of the mind. Ka es un libro fascinante. Leer estas historias de calassi mano de Calasso no es u Ka es un libro fascinante. Nov 28, Gopal MS rated it it was amazing. Most Indians would have heard almost all the tales that are mentioned in this book. But this book strings all the mythological tales together very intelligently and with a perspective that only someone with a wider perspective of human nature and thought processes can give.
There is also something different about Italian writers.
They write in a rich and often difficult language that takes time to get used to. But once you are comfortable with the translation, you will realise Simply brilliant. But once you are comfortable with the translation, you will realise that they have a knack for presenting complex thoughts in a beautiful way.
It is not simple, but it is poetic. Feb 24, Dr. I recommend this book to Indians who have had no exposure to Hindu scriptures. The author takes you through the mystic world of Indian scriptures, the origin of human life and the relationship with gods, the subtle interpretations of intrigues starting from the awe-struck Vinatha in the majestic presence of her son Garuda.
The book reads like poetry. I was amazed by the breadth and depth of the author’s understanding. It takes time to complete the book, but assure you it is worth every minute of I recommend this book to Indians who have had no exposure to Hindu scriptures. It takes time to complete the book, but assure you it is worth every minute of it. Ka decodes Hindu myth in a style that might be scandalous to the fascists. However, the book reasons out a lot of stories in Hindu myth with a very original idea.
Roberto’s complex and erotic style of writing might not make the book a terrific page-turner. And still it’s probably te best book about Hindu mythology that anyone has ever written.