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Bengal Nights Mircea Eliade The University of Chicago Press. Mircea Eliade ( ) was the Sewell L. Avery Distinguished Service Professor in the. The book Bengal Nights: A Novel, Mircea Eliade is published by University of Chicago Press. BENGAL NIGHTS. User Review – Jane Doe – Kirkus. Eliade (), a major figure in the scholarly study of world religions, tells his version of younger days.

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Mirccea published in Romanian inthis semiautobiographical novel by the world renowned scholar Mircea Eliade details the passionate awakenings of Alain, an ambitious young French engineer flush with colonial pride and prejudice and full of a European fascination with the mysterious subcontinent. Offered the hospitality of a senior Indian colleague, Alain grasps at the chance to discover the authentic India firsthand.

He soon finds himself enchanted by his host’s daughter, the lovely and inscrutable Maitreyi, a precocious young poet and former student eliase Tagore. What follows is a charming, tentative flirtation that soon, against all the proprieties and precepts of Indian society, blossoms into a love affair both impossible and ultimately tragic.

This erotic passion plays itself out in Alain’s thoughts long after its bitter conclusion. In hindsight he sets down the story, quoting from the diaries of his disordered days, and trying to make sense of the sad affair. A vibrantly poetic love story, Bengal Nights is also a cruel account of the wreckage left in the wake of a young man’s self discovery. At once horrifying and deeply moving, Eliade’s story repeats the patterns of European engagement with India even as it exposes and condemns them.

Invaluable for the insight it offers into Eliade’s life and thought, it is a work of great intellectual and emotional power.

But do not open it if you prefer nifhts remain unmoved by your reading matter. It is enough to make stones weep. Many of his scholarly works, as well as his two-volume autobiography and four-volume journal, are published by the University of Chicago Press. Translated into French inBengal Nights was an immediate critical success. The film, Les Nuits Bengaliappeared in Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.


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Preview — Maitreyi by Mircea Eliade. Maitreyi by Mircea Eliade. Paperbackpages.

Bengal Nights – Mircea Eliade – Google Books

Published March 28th by Humanitas first published January 1st AllanMaitreyi DeviSurendranath Dasgupta. CalcuttaIndia KolkataIndia. To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up. To ask other readers questions about Maitreyiplease sign up. Does anybody has this book in English?

See all 3 questions about Maitreyi…. Lists with This Book.

Initially upon finishing it I rated it quite highly, but after I’ve had more time to think about the content, I felt much less compelled to do so. Bengal Nights was written by a European man in India Calcutta in the mircewso I knew I mireca going to be shaking my head a lot. I expected racism, exotification, cultural ignorance and superiority, paternalism and simplification of the other, and I got all those: These Indians, whom I loved so much that Bengak wanted to become one of them, all nurtured in the recesses of their beings a whole impenetrable history and mythology.


How deep, complex and unintelligible they seemed to me. He clearly has a couple of agendas. He is a man who believes he can “save” the country and change things, a man who thinks he knows more about the country because of his “superior” status as a Jights.

He is arrogant but he believes he’s benevolent and understanding. I was also sure that the encounter nightd this ancient world with our modern work had yet to find its novelist. I had discovered an India quite different to the one I had read about in sensational newspaper articles The deeper I ventured into this wild domain, the more consuming became a hitherto unconscious notion of my superiority, the more violently assertive a pride of which I would never have believed myself capable.

I was well and truly in the jungle, no longer a social being with perfect self-control.

Bengal Nights

The book is an interesting look into the interracial relationships that can be further complicated by race, colonial niguts, religion, and societal expectations. There are implications for both but, as to be expected, worse and more serious ones for the woman. Elaide is torn between his life as a privileged white man in India and his intrigue for this other exotic life. Perhaps compounded by his love for Maitreyi, he puts India on a pedestal. I’ve seen this happen before, it’s not new, but it is interesting how common it is and how it manifests itself: The author masked his own identity in the book yet he mentioned Maitreyi’s very clearly and even used an identifier He mentions her association with Tagore’s protegee.

If he understood Indian Mircew Indian culture like he said he did, surely he would have known better than to write such a tale, fictionalized or not, about a person it can easily be attributed to? Additionally, the sexual relationship between Alain and Maitreya is quite explicitly stated, and this was Calcutta in the s, so I can only assume that it was a more conservative time than it is now.

View all 18 comments. Andrei Tamas, 24 noiembrie Sep 15, Andreea Obreja rated it it was ok Shelves: He gets what he wants, then leaves, doing all kinds of stupid stuff because suffering for love is just so poetic and everybody just loves a sad hero Or in the eliaed when he just couldn’t admit what he really thought and mircra everything Indian so that he wouldn’t look mircwa.

There were some things I liked but I can’t remember them because I’m too furious. I shall rat I hate him! I shall rate it in the future, when I may be less subjective. I just kind of hated everything about this story. The language was extremely sickeningly-sweet and over-affected.

The story-line was somehow good but Mrcea hated each and everyone in it: Some may say this is reality: And no, it’s not, in reality people do care about each other but this book is written from the point of view niights someone very young and selfish. He’s like every teenager out there, imagining “What would people think if I threw myself in the Gange?

Will they then understand my suffering? Will they be eliiade for what they did to me? It’s probably the first book I hate with such a passion so you can’t say I’m someone who likes to criticize what others write.


Actually, I’m pretty generous in my opinions but this book was simply hateful. Yeah, yeah, great insight into bengql India and all but you don’t really have to read a novel if you want to know those things.

I’m sorry I’m so categorical and I’m sorry if you think I’m wrong. You must know I’m rather sick right now and I may have a fever, so I’m not thinking straight. View all 17 comments. Nov 03, Adina rated it it was amazing Shelves: Eliade este scriitorul meu roman preferat.

Jul 31, Angela rated it it was amazing Recommends it for: An absolutely fabulous love story beetwen different worlds, but essentialy the same The atmoshere is fantastic Fabulous and sweet and touching! Jul 18, Adelina Traicu rated it really liked it. View all 3 comments. Nov 26, Julien M. I love it and I hate it at the same time, if that is at all possible. I just finished reading it for the second time and, I don’t really remember anything like this after reading it the first time, but it hit something inside me, wherever and whatever that is, and a very weird combination of feelings surfaced.

I suppose Eliade succeeded in making the reader, or at least me, feel as close as possible to what he must have felt back then, if not towards Maitreyi, at least towards the book itself. B I love it and I hate it at the same time, if that is at all possible.

Being able to penetrate to its core this, obviously touching and disturbing at the same time, story, I find myself judging him a lot for his stupid actions and his lack of judgment, but I do not know how different would I have reacted if it all happened to me. I feel pitty for the human race, for all the stupidity that it bears with so much pride and arrogance, for the immense amount of pain and suffering we put one another through each day, for all the superstitions you – not me, not anymore – live your lives by with so much credulity and zeal, for all the little differences that keep us from seeing our much more obvious things we have in common.

It is pathetic but it also gives me this great impuls to do Sens that stand in my way and find Maitreyi, and make some good material foar a novel, but one with a very happy ending. I think I have said everything and nothing.

Bengal Nights: A Novel, Eliade, Spencer

Isn’t it great to be alive? Feb 10, Teo rated it it was ok Shelves: Dec 15, Vlad rated it it was amazing. Yb nevoie de timp sa-mi adun gandurile. I was planning on reading this book for a very long time and now that we were midcea to read it for our Romanian class I thought that this was the perfect opportunity. I actually think that this book is one of very few that I’m really glad that it is included in the scholarly program, because, to be honest, the other books and authors are really lame.

Or maybe it is just my unconditional love for Eliade’s literature.