Ardor by Roberto Calasso
(Farrar, Straus & Giroux and Penguin Books, November 2014)
original title: L’ardore (pub. Adelphi Edizioni, September 2010)
“Richard Dixon’s supple and elegant translation brings Calasso’s poetic meditations to life.” Publishers Weekly September 1, 2014 - more/...
“Today consciousness is one of the words most used and abused by scientists of various disciplines. But for many it may be surprising to discover that the simple fact of being
conscious was the pivot around which a whole civilization revolved some three thousand years ago: Vedic India, about which there remains little tangible evidence, but a treasury of words – poetic,
mythological and ritualistic – of shattering intensity. In those texts, consciousness is always linked to an “ardor” (in Sanskrit tapas), which acts within the mind as it does within the world.
And, working away, it generates even the gods, and in the end also men. This book casts us into the labyrinth of the Vedic world and, on leaving it, we realize we are viewing the secular society around us today
– even in its most daunting aspects, such as fundamentalism and terrorism – with new eyes.”