In crisply written prose, Calasso The Marriage of Cadmus and Harmony, seeks depths, and encourages questions, that become a pleasure to ponder. The title sets the tone. The result is a multilayered, engaging composition that entertainingly draws the reader through a sophisticated system of thought. The result, though, isn—t a handbook: Calasso knows that not ideas but characters are what make stories work, and that we understand best when we sympathize most. A touching family drama that effectively explores the negative impact of stress on fragile relationships.

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Look Inside. No one will read it without reward. 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.

A tour de force of scholarship and seduction, Ka is irresistible. Roberto Calasso was born in Florence in He lives in Milan, where he is publisher of Adelphi Edizioni. The Marriage of Cadmus and Harmony, his third book, has been translated into 12 languages. Its power arises in part through strong, vivid writing and in part through stunning, unexpected metaphors.

Add to Cart. Also available from:. Available from:. Paperback —. About Ka "A giddy invasion of stories—brilliant, enigmatic, troubling, outrageous, erotic, beautiful. Also in Vintage International. Also by Roberto Calasso. See all books by Roberto Calasso. Product Details. Inspired by Your Browsing History. Praise "The very best book about Hindu mythology that anyone has ever written…A magnificent reading of Hindu texts.

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Ka: Stories of the Mind and Gods of India

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

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 foregrounds a particular figure, such as Prajapati, Shiva, Krishna, or the Buddha, or a story such as the Mahabharata. And each chapter is made up of vignettes ranging from short paragraphs to several pages in length, which link together to form a coherent stream but to an extent can stand alone. The chapters are ordered — proceeding from the creation of the world to the Buddha, framed by Garuda and Ka — but the weave is loose and Ka doesn't have to be read cover-to-cover to be appreciated.


In Ka, Roberto Calasso delves into the corpus of classical Sanskrit literature recreating and re-imagining the enchanting world of ancient India. Beginning with the Rig-Veda, Ka weaves together myths from the Upanishad, the Mahabharata and the stories of the Buddha, all of which pose questions that have haunted us for millennia. Roberto Calasso. Our Lists. Buy from….


The sacred literature of Hinduism is traditionally divided into two "families. These books are called shruti "hearing" because they contain the perennial wisdom "heard" by the ancient rishis "seers" in states of heightened awareness. The rishis, though typically represented as human figures with godlike abilities, are really neither human nor divine, but incarnations of cosmic forces that appear at the dawn of each world age to establish its framework of order and truth. Chief among their creations for our current age are the four collections of hymns and prayers, sacrificial formulas, and chants known together as the Vedas literally, "knowledge". The younger family, in contrast, is called smriti, books "remembered" and so composed by human teachers. While widely read and admired by the Hindu community, these books have less authority than shruti.

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