Roberto Calasso, President and CEO of Adelphi in Milan, is the author of Ardor and The Art of the Publisher, which is to be ­published in November.
 (September 2015)

A Garden for Oliver Sacks

Oliver Sacks, New York Botanical Garden

It is not entirely clear why, but my meetings with Oliver Sacks were all marked by an irrational euphoria. The places changed, from the Bronx to Spoleto—but above all Manhattan. We would start to talk and the sense of time would discreetly dissolve. On two occasions it also seemed to me that I could glimpse something of Oliver’s innermost essence.

Indian Classics: The Big New Vision

‘Akbar Inspects the Capture of a Wild Elephant’; illustration from Abu’l-Fazl’s History of Akbar, circa 1590
Like some procession of tireless penitents, much of the academic community continues to beat its collective breast and bewail its sins when it comes to Eastern studies. This attitude has persisted at least since 1978, when Edward W. Said published Orientalism, a book of which it can (or should) be …

From ‘The Marriage of Cadmus and Harmony’

Whenever their lives were set aflame, through desire or suffering, or even reflection, the Homeric heroes knew that a god was at work. They endured the god, and observed him, but what actually happened as a result was a surprise most of all for themselves. Thus dispossessed of their emotion, …