Maitreyi

Maitreyi

Set in 1930s Calcutta, this is a roman á clef of remarkable intimacy. Originally published in Romanian in 1933, this 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 of 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.

"Bengal Nights is forceful and harshly poignant, written with a great love of India informed by clear-eyed understanding. But do not open it if you prefer to remain unmoved by your reading matter.It is enough to make stones weep." — Literary Review

Mircea Eliade (1907-1986) was the Sewell L. Avery Distinguished Service Professor in the Divinity School and the Committee on Social Thought at the University of Chicago. 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 in 1950, Bengal Nights was an immediate critical success. The film, Les Nuits Bengali, appeared in 1987.

Title:Maitreyi
Edition Language:Romanian
ISBN:9789735004101
Format Type:

    Maitreyi Reviews

  • Rowena

    *3.5 stars*It's tough to rate a book like this. 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...

  • Andreea Obreja

    I hate him! 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 beginning when he just cou...

  • Mutasim Billah

    "Really, Alain, how could you fall for a Bengali? They're disgusting. I was born here. I know these women better than you do. They're dirty, and there's nothing doing, believe me, no question of lo...

  • Jo.

    This is just pure trash that I wish I didn't have to read for school and that it wasn't presented as the greatest love story Romania's ever damned seen. Here's the plot: Allan is a fetishist pig that ...

  • Angela

    An absolutely fabulous love story beetwen different worlds, but essentialy the same...The atmoshere is fantastic...you can smell the parfurmes, can taste the flavours, can feel that delicate "sari"......

  • 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, bu...

  • Teo

    Awful :)Maitreyi is awful.Allan is OKish....

  • Diana

    I was planning on reading this book for a very long time and now that we were asked to read it for our Romanian class I thought that this was the perfect opportunity. I actually think that this book i...

  • Andreea

    Momentously racist / orientalist / makes me hate humanity, remembering that I once saw no problem with all the bizarre things Eliade writes / does to Indian culture in this book makes me want to hurt ...

  • Nicole

    The day I approve of racism, sexism, abuse and another crap ton of bad things, it's the day school wins. But not today, Satan!...