Bengal Nights: A Novel

By Mircea Eliade

Set in Thirties Calcutta, this can be a roman á clef of outstanding intimacy. initially released in Romanian in 1933, this semiautobiographical novel by means of the realm popular pupil Mircea Eliade info the passionate awakenings of Alain, an formidable younger French engineer flush with colonial delight and prejudice and whole of a eu fascination with the mysterious subcontinent.

Offered the hospitality of a senior Indian colleague, Alain grasps on the probability to find the actual India firsthand. He quickly unearths himself enchanted by way of his host's daughter, the beautiful and inscrutable Maitreyi, a precocious younger poet and previous scholar of Tagore. What follows is a captivating, tentative flirtation that quickly, opposed to all of the proprieties and precepts of Indian society, blossoms right into a love affair either most unlikely and finally tragic. This erotic ardour performs itself out in Alain's concepts lengthy after its sour end. In hindsight he units down the tale, quoting from the diaries of his disordered days, and attempting to make experience of the sorrowful affair.

A vibrantly poetic love tale, Bengal Nights is usually a merciless account of the wreckage left within the wake of a tender man's self discovery. without delay scary and deeply relocating, Eliade's tale repeats the styles of ecu engagement with India at the same time it exposes and condemns them. worthwhile for the perception it bargains into Eliade's existence and suggestion, it's a paintings of serious highbrow and emotional strength.

"Bengal Nights is forceful and harshly poignant, written with a good love of India expert by way of clear-eyed knowing. yet don't open it if you happen to wish to stay unmoved by means of your analyzing subject. it really is adequate to make stones weep.

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I shook, my respiring was once tortuous and every time I obtained up from my chair i used to be conquer by way of dizziness. i'd take a seat staring into house as if in a trance. All inspiration oftime disappeared. after which i might stretch out at the chaise longue, in my in simple terms pair of pyjamas, my head lolling opposed to my shoulder; the boy might deliver a decanter of whisky and a few seltzer water and that i might gulp it down in small swigs. I drank until eventually I felt a well-known heat creep into my limbs. Then i'd leap up, therapeutic massage my temples, costume and move outdoor to stroll below the rains.

I checked out her, silently asking her what I should still do. She needed to agree. Chabu used to be crying and significant the hoop. while the kid had it in her fingers, she stared at it, rolled it among her arms, attempted to appear via it, then rolled it in a handkerchief and cradled it to her neck. i don't recognize what it used to be within the black stone that attracted her. I I6 Bengal Nights The medical professionals may perhaps do not anything for her insanity and the wizards and the magicians have been once more known as in. An uncle of the women additionally got here, a truly mild outdated guy who radiated an environment of calm.

I used to be nervous: there will be site visitors at the highway at first light . I walked, holding my head down and didn't cease until eventually, in the course of the palm-trees, I stuck sight of the Ganges. That view of the river was once unusually comforting: I knew that it ended in the city the place i actually used to be going, the city the place Maitreyi used to be. the explanations for my sadness have been not transparent to me. I slightly thought of what Harold or Mrs Ribeiro could say on my go back. A unmarried notion cheered me: possibly Khokha might come to determine me. whilst he discovered that I had disappeared the day ahead of and had no longer again, he might inform the engineer.

My soul is bothered, very stricken . . . And but i would like to jot down every little thing, every thing. And what if it had all been not anything yet a few large farce? an excellent trick performed on me by way of my ardour? Do i need to I settle for all of it, think all of it, with out reservation? What do i do know of the reality? i need as a way to glance Maitreyi within the eyes . . .

Mantu, Maitreyi and that i always took turns in taking care of him. He used to be now not in ache, yet he was once compelled to spend lots of the day stretched out on his mattress, his eyes safe via darkish glasses. I had probably not been conscious of his disease, so occupied, so interested had I been through our video games and our love. i noticed then that I were oblivious to a complete host of occasions. Civil struggle used to be threatening to damage out back, fuelled by means of the imprisonment of over s o,ooo nationalists. I needed to witness scenes of violence, fees by means of fastened police, the sacking and pillaging of the 1 02 Bengal Nights Sikh district in Bhowanipore, I needed to see kids overwhelmed and ladies damage prior to I, too, turned stuck up within the revolution.

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