Roberto Calasso, President and CEO of Adelphi in Milan, is the author of Ka: Stories of the Mind and Gods of India and, most recently, Ardor. (September 2016)


Tips for the Hindu Man-About-Town

Krishna dancing with one of his gopis; detail from a nineteenth-century Indian wall hanging

Redeeming the Kamasutra

by Wendy Doniger
Vatsyayana’s Kamasutra is universally known as a repertory of erotic positions, some of them sufficiently acrobatic to intimidate more than a few Western lovers, no doubt fearful they might find themselves insufficiently inventive. It is also, and it may be primarily, an excellent catalog of novelistic plots in the guise …

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

Therigatha: Poems of the First Buddhist Women

translated from the Pali by Charles Hallisey

The History of Akbar, Volume 1

by Abu’l-Fazl, edited and translated from the Persian by Wheeler M. Thackston
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, …


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.