Fiction Roberto Calasso Ka

ISBN 13: 9780099750710

Ka

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9780099750710: Ka

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. Who is Ka? And who is the immense eagle who asks this question, filling the sky, an elephant and a giant turtle in his claws? How can he be the child of woman? Who are these tiny folk he eats? The first impact of Ka is one of tremendous strangeness, bewilderment, disorientation. Slowly, however, the strange becomes familiar and - as Ka folds and enfolds the world of the Deva and the Seven Seers, of Siva, Brahma and Visnu, the wars of the Mahabharata, and finally the advent of the Buddha - we are amazed at our own recognition. These stories lie so close to the grain of our own experience that they confirm, or for the first time articulate, our own deepest perceptions about our condition.

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The eagle Garuda is on a mission to steal soma--an intoxicating liquid that was to the gods of India what ambrosia was to the Olympic pantheon--in order to ransom his human mother, Vinata, from the snakes who have held her captive since she lost a bet and became her sister Kadru's slave. He reflects to himself, "So many things happening, so many stories one inside the other, with every link hiding yet more stories...."

And so it is with Ka, Roberto Calasso's treatment of Indian mythology from the creation of the universe to the spiritual awakening of the Buddha. Employing the same fragmentary narrative techniques as in The Marriage of Cadmus and Harmony, Calasso builds his story by adding image after image, teasing out the hidden connections and submerged themes. He draws amply from the Vedas and the Mahabharata, "three times as long as the Bible, seven times as long as the Iliad and the Odyssey put together." Tim Parks's translation preserves Calasso's sensitivity to the visionary power of language, presenting the reader with a pathway that leads through dizzying awe to gradual recognition of a more familiar world.

From the Inside Flap:

With the same startling originality and brilliance that made his Marriage of Cadmus and Harmony a literary landmark, Roberto Calasso narrates the birth of one of the world's great cultures: the formation of the mind of India. He doesn't explain or describe this mental world--he regenerates it through its epic cyclical stories and customs, until we no longer need to define it for ourselves because we have come to know what it is.
So: Who is Ka? And who is the immense eagle asking the question, filling the sky, elephant and giant turtle dwarfed in his claws? How can he be the child of a woman? Who are the tiny folk he eats? The first impact of Ka is one of tremendous strangeness, bewilderment, disorientation. How can a Western tradition which demands to identify a beginning and an end understand one that sees no beginning and no end, but only an eternal tangle? Slowly, though, the strange becomes familiar, as new and ever more fantastic stories are spun out, gods emerge, bizarre sacrifices are performed. Why must the king's wife copulate with a dead horse? How is man reduced to an eye in an ant's nest? Why must the road to higher consciousness pass through an erotic adventure? Why is the first girl the dawn and the second the dusk? 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 to articulate for the first time, our own deepest perceptions about our human
condition.  
An entirely unique reading experience from an author at once supremely erudite and unceasingly creative.

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Roberto Calasso
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Book Description Vintage Publishing, United Kingdom, 1999. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Language: English . Brand New Book. 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. Who is Ka? And who is the immense eagle who asks this question, filling the sky, an elephant and a giant turtle in his claws? How can he be the child of woman? Who are these tiny folk he eats? The first impact of Ka is one of tremendous strangeness, bewilderment, disorientation. Slowly, however, the strange becomes familiar and - as Ka folds and enfolds the world of the Deva and the Seven Seers, of Siva, Brahma and Visnu, the wars of the Mahabharata, and finally the advent of the Buddha - we are amazed at our own recognition. These stories lie so close to the grain of our own experience that they confirm, or for the first time articulate, our own deepest perceptions about our condition. Bookseller Inventory # AAZ9780099750710

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Book Description Vintage Publishing, United Kingdom, 1999. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Language: English . Brand New Book. 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. Who is Ka? And who is the immense eagle who asks this question, filling the sky, an elephant and a giant turtle in his claws? How can he be the child of woman? Who are these tiny folk he eats? The first impact of Ka is one of tremendous strangeness, bewilderment, disorientation. Slowly, however, the strange becomes familiar and - as Ka folds and enfolds the world of the Deva and the Seven Seers, of Siva, Brahma and Visnu, the wars of the Mahabharata, and finally the advent of the Buddha - we are amazed at our own recognition. These stories lie so close to the grain of our own experience that they confirm, or for the first time articulate, our own deepest perceptions about our condition. Bookseller Inventory # AAZ9780099750710

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Book Description Vintage. Book Condition: New. The first impact of this text about the "Indianness" of India is one of strangeness, bewilderment and disorientation. However, slowly the strange becomes familiar, and as Ka folds and enfolds the world of Deva and the Seven Seers, of Siva, and through to the advent of Budhha, all becomes clear. Num Pages: 464 pages, Illustrations. BIC Classification: 1FKA; 2ADT; FA; HBJF; JFC. Category: (G) General (US: Trade). Dimension: 199 x 146 x 28. Weight in Grams: 334. . 1999. Paperback. . . . . Bookseller Inventory # V9780099750710

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Book Description Vintage, 1999. Book Condition: New. The first impact of this text about the "Indianness" of India is one of strangeness, bewilderment and disorientation. However, slowly the strange becomes familiar, and as Ka folds and enfolds the world of Deva and the Seven Seers, of Siva, and through to the advent of Budhha, all becomes clear. Num Pages: 464 pages, Illustrations. BIC Classification: 1FKA; 2ADT; FA; HBJF; JFC. Category: (G) General (US: Trade). Dimension: 199 x 146 x 28. Weight in Grams: 334. . 1999. Paperback. . . . . Bookseller Inventory # V9780099750710

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