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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The soma in Chapter X is associated with knowledge, as conveyed through a parable strikingly similar to Plato’s cave. The Marriage of Cadmus and Harmony, his third book, has been translated into 12 languages.

KA by Roberto Calasso | Kirkus Reviews

Literary Criticism Religion Category: A tour de force of scholarship and seduction, Ka is irresistible. Something that adds a new quality to thought: It is a charming explanation of how the great Ganges came into being. Views Read Edit View history. In the story-within-a-story, Ganga was initially a proud woman who thought she could sweep Calazso away like a straw. Before the horse died, it was allowed to wander any land it wished, protected by four hundred armed guards.

Fortunately, Calasso’s beautiful writing transcends my ignorance. Telling a story is a way of having things happen at the highest possible speed, that of the mind. His father Francesco was a law professor, first at Florence University and then in Rome, where he eventually became dean of his faculty.


I can’t judge the finer points of his rendition, but Wendy Doniger, one of the world’s experts on Hinduism and mythology, describes Ka as “The very best book about Hindu mythology that anyone has ever written”, a blurb understandably highlighted on xalasso front cover.


It was hard to see which was which. I caladso eagerly, frequently flipping back and forth to the glossary in an attempt to keep everything straight.

It’s a beautiful and compelling read. Roberto’s complex and erotic style of writing might not make the book a terrific page-turner. Leer estas historias de la mano de Calasso no es u Ka es un libro fascinante.

Ka: Stories of the Mind and Gods of India

L’editoria come genere letterario. 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 falasso my life are making me stupid. Nov 02, Pages.

Calaasso includes a thirty page glossary and provides references for his calaasso quotations, but there is, unfortunately, no index. Each of its fourteen chapters foregrounds a particular figure, such as Prajapati, Shiva, Krishna, or the Buddha, or a story such as the Mahabharata. Much like the puranas. Today we can find Indian market flooded with authors inspired by myths and stories found in Hindu texts. Mar 25, Namrata Jain rated it really liked it.

Ka by Roberto Calasso

Parks’ translation was retold in by Geeta Dharmarajan as Ka: La snakes, knotted, separate, coiled, uncoiled. No one will read it without reward. Perhaps hopefully I absorbed more than I thought. Each chapter can be read as a stand-alone story which could make t Calasso has undertaken the mammoth task of going through classical Indian mythology and effectively boiling cxlasso down to “sound-bites”. The Story of Garuda. The language is extremely dense and author has freely used metaphors and interrogatives, causing a near soporific effect.


The trend for portraying whole civilizations continues with Ka where the subject of the re-writing is Hindu mythology. Daksa, a stand-in for Brahma, loved his favorite daughter, Sati, who, in turn, loves Siva.

The story of the Buddha’s awakening is a well-trodden path, and Calasso adds little that is new. His more narrowly focused essays relating to European modernity are collected in I quarantanove gradini The Forty-nine Stepsaddressed to Pierre Klossowski and his wife; Literature and the gods based on his Weidenfeld Lectures at Oxford, on the decline and return of pagan imagery in the art of the westand La follia che viene dalle ninfe The Madness that Comes from the Nymphsa collection of related essays ranging from Plato ‘s Phaedrus to Nabokov ‘s Lolita.

Nov 02, Brooke Everett rated it it was ok.

The narrative wandered around like the horse. Each chapter can be read as a stand-alone story which could make the over-all book slightly disjointed.

He lives in Milan, where he is publisher of Adelphi Edizioni. With the same caalsso 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.