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Details of Ardor

Exact title of book
Book author
Roberto Calasso
Farrar, Straus and Giroux
Nov 22, 2016
File size (in PDF)
3888 kB

Some brief overview of book

In a meditation on the wisdom of the Vedas, Roberto Calasso brings ritual and sacrifice to bear on the modern world In this revelatory volume, Roberto Calasso, whom The Paris Review has called "a literary institution," explores the ancient texts known as the Vedas. Little is known about the Vedic people, who lived more than three thousand years ago in northern India They left behind almost no objects, images, or ruins. They created no empires.

Even the soma, the likely hallucinogenic plant that appears at the center of some of their rituals, has not been identified with any certainty. Only a "Parthenon of words" remains verses and formulations suggesting a daring understanding of life. "If the Vedic people had been asked why they did not build cities," writes Calasso, "they could have replied we did not seek power, but rapture." This is the ardor of the Vedic world, a burning intensity that is always present, both in the mind and in the cosmos.

With his signature erudition and profound sense of the past, Calasso explores the enigmatic web of ritual and myth that defines the Vedas. Often at odds with modern thought, these texts illuminate the nature of consciousness more vividly than anything else has managed to till now. Following the "hundred paths" of the Satapatha Brahmana, an impressive exegesis of Vedic ritual, Ardor indicates that it may be possible to reach what is closest by passing through that which is most remote, as "the whole of Vedic India was an attempt to think further."

About book author

Calasso is the publisher of Adelphi Edizioni in Milan and is the author of many books. Ardor is the seventh part of a work in progress, following The Ruin of Kasch, The Marriage of Cadmus and Harmony, Ka, K., Tiepolo Pink, and La Folie Baudelaire.

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