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Book Title: It Does Not Die|
The size of the: 314 KB
Edition: University Of Chicago Press
Date of issue: April 1st 1995
The author of the book: Maitreyi Devi
Format files: PDF
ISBN 13: 9780226143651
Read full description of the books It Does Not Die:Precocious, a poet, a philosopher's daughter, Maitreyi Devi was sixteen years old in 1930 when Mircea Eliade came to Calcutta to study with her father. More than forty years passed before Devi read Bengal Nights, the novel Eliade had fashioned out of their encounter, only to find small details and phrases, even her given name, bringing back episodes and feelings she had spent decades trying to forget. It Does Not Die is Devi's response. In part a counter to Eliade's fantasies, the book is also a moving account of a first love fraught with cultural tensions, of false starts and lasting regrets.
Proud of her intelligence, Maitreyi Devi's father had provided her with a fine and, for that time, remarkably liberal education — and encouraged his brilliant foreign student, Eliade, to study with her. "We were two good exhibits in his museum," Devi writes. They were also, as it turned out, deeply taken with each other. When their secret romance was discovered, Devi's father banished the young Eliade from their home.
Against a rich backdrop of life in an upper-caste Hindu household, Devi powerfully recreates the confusion of an over-educated child simultaneously confronting sex and the differences, not only between European and Indian cultures, but also between her mother's and father's view of what was right. Amid a tangle of misunderstandings, between a European man and an Indian girl, between student and teacher, husband and wife, father and daughter, she describes a romance unfolding in the face of cultural differences but finally succumbing to cultural constraints. On its own, It Does Not Die is a fascinating story of cultural conflict and thwarted love. Read together with Eliade's Bengal Nights, Devi's "romance" is a powerful study of what happens when the oppositions between innocence and experience, enchantment and disillusion, and cultural difference and colonial arrogance collide.
"In two novels written forty years apart, a man and a woman tell stories of their love. . . . Taken together they provide an unusually touching story of young love unable to prevail against an opposition whose strength was tragically buttressed by the uncertainties of a cultural divide."—Isabel Colegate, New York Times Book Review
"Recreates, with extraordinary vividness, the 16-year-old in love that she had been. . . . Maitreyi is entirely, disarmingly open about her emotions. . . . An impassioned plea for truth."—Anita Desai, New Republic
"Something between a reunion and a duel. Together they detonate the classic bipolarities: East-West, life-art, woman-man."—Richard Eder, New York Newsday
"One good confession deserves another. . . . Both books gracefully trace the authors' doomed love affair and its emotional aftermath."—Nina Mehta, Chicago Tribune
Read information about the authorMaitreyi Devi (bn: মৈত্রেয়ী দেবী) was a Bengali-born Indian poetess and novelist, the daughter of philosopher Surendranath Dasgupta and protegée of poet Rabindranath Tagore. She was the basis for the main character in Romanian-born writer Mircea Eliade's 1933 novel La Nuit Bengali (Bengal Nights). In her It Does Not Die) novel, written as a response to Bengal Nights, Maitreyi Devi denied claims of a sexual affair between her and Eliade during the latter's sojourn in British India.
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