6 de abril de 2009

Dicas de Livros

Namaskar

Para você que gosta de ler, segue abaixo uma lista de livros sobre a Índia. Observe que esta lista não foi preparada por mim, mas sim pelo indiano Sudhir Kakar. Segundo ele, estes são os melhores livros (em inglês) sobre a Índia.

1. Ka
By Roberto Calasso
Knopf, 1998

"Suddenly an eagle darkened the sky," begins "Ka," Roberto Calasso's vivid retelling of Indian myths. Calasso brings ancient stories as alive for a non-Indian reader as they continue to be for most Indians. For in India, tales about the origins of the world, of man and sex and death, are not cadavers on the dissecting table of mythologists. The stories are worked and reworked into modern forms -- never more captivatingly than by Calasso in "Ka" -- and they continue to be the preferred medium for the expression of metaphysical and social thought.

2. Slowly Down the Ganges
By Eric Newby
Scribner, 1966

In 1963, Eric Newby and his wife, Wanda, undertook a 1,200-mile journey by boat from the Himalayan origins of India's most sacred river, through the country's densely populous plains, to the river's terminus in the Bay of Bengal. The Newbys and their crew ran aground 63 times in the first six days, and plenty of miseries followed, but in "Slowly Down the Ganges," the laconic Newby reports every mishap, every miscommunication, with an appealing sense of humor. He is full of warmth toward India and its people, but he has a keen eye and is always conscious of his outsider status among the Hindus: "However well-intentioned he might be, and however anxious to participate, for a European to bathe in the Ganges . . . was simply for him to have a bath."

3. Autobiography of an Unknown Indian
By Nirad Chaudhuri
Macmillan, 1951

In his "Autobiography of an Unknown Indian," Nirad Chaudhuri (1897-1999) gives us a tragi-comic portrait of an Indian middle class eternally caught between the traditional and the modern. His memoir begins early in the 20th century, when he was growing up in rural Bengal; it then describes his youth in Calcutta and his life as a struggling writer in Delhi just after Indian independence in 1947. When the book was published, many Indians were outraged by Chaudhuri's paeans to the country's recently departed British rulers and by his detestation of all things Indian. With the passage of time, though, Chaudhuri's intemperate outbursts and his attacks on his countrymen's failings came to be regarded as part of his lovable eccentricity. The book remains one of the best chronicles of the Indian middle class's enduring love affair with the West, even if England has since been replaced by the U.S. as the object of desire.

4. India: A Wounded Civilization
By V.S. Naipaul
Knopf, 1977

The year is 1975, during the period known as the Emergency, when Prime Minister Indira Gandhi suspended the country's constitution and assumed dictatorial powers. Naipaul, who was born in an Indian immigrant enclave in Trinidad, recounts his travels through a "wounded" country. India "isn't my home," he notes, "and yet I cannot reject it or be indifferent to it." Instead, he is often hostile toward it, especially toward modern Indian art, architecture and literature. He does not restrict his complaints to modernity; he also rails against the dead weight of India's past. The country might have won its independence from Britain, but it is "a land of far older defeat." With the declaration of the Emergency, he writes, "it is necessary to fight against the chilling sense of a new Indian dissolution." Luckily, India survived its flirtation with dictatorship, a time that Naipaul memorably captures in this portrait of a country in distress.

5. The Collected Essays of A.K. Ramanujan
By A.K. Ramanujan
Oxford, 1999

A.K. Ramanujan (1929-93) was one of India's finest English-language poets, a devoted folklorist and a scholar of Indian literature. His essays crystallize a theme that runs through much of his work: the interplay between the India of the past -- both personal and collective -- and the Western-centric modern nation. The collection includes his classic "Is There an Indian Way of Thinking?," wherein Ramanujan argues that Indian thinking is overwhelmingly "context sensitive," in contrast to the "context free," or abstract, thinking of the West. Ramanujan was that rare writer who combined the mind of a scholar with the heart of a poet.

Os livros escritos pelo Sr. Kakar são: "The Indians: Portrait of a People."

"Mad and Divine: Spirit and Psyche in the Modern World" que me parece ser absolutamente interessante, será publicado em Maio deste ano pela University of Chicago Press.

Fonte: The Wall Street Journal.

Mais uma excelente dica do seu amado Indiagestão!

Om Shanti