"A giddy invasion of stories--brilliant, enigmatic, troubling, outrageous, erotic, beautiful." --The New York Times Book Review"So brilliant that you...more
"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 less
Previous Indian mythology stories I've read really intrigued me however this was a bore-fest. The writing style is very old and while I'm sure the author meant this to add some kind of mystique to the book; it did the opposite.
It's highly non-linear in time and space - flits back and forth with wild abandon over the entire range of Hindu mythology. Works best if you already know the original stories in some detail. Not for those who are easily offended by Western interpretations of our myths