Publication Date: September 1995
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What if Western revolution and Eastern reincarnation were discovered to be the same thing? What if the Hindu classic The Mahabharata and Hugo's Les Miserables were in fact the same book? And what would it feel like if one person were able to experience this epic east/west continuance in one life? This delightfully eccentric novel orbits about the character of one "Siva," a woman who is perhaps a Hindi divinity, probably merely a Midwestern housewife, but also very possibly a porn-queen. Her web of tales takes her bewildered husband and the reader on a mythic and philosophic storytelling trek from ancient India, to the Paris Commune, to the St. Louis Hegelians, and finally to a neighborhood very like yours. Curtis White's Anarcho-Hindu is an unabashedly learned investigation of these recondite matters. Like The Bhagavad-Gita, the epic tale of cousin aligned against cousin in monstrous self-destruction, Anarcho-Hindu is a book about people willingly conspiring in their own defeat. Against this self-inflicted human suffering, this novel proposes the gestures of self-understanding and play that can liberate us both politically and personally. The heroes of the book are the ghostly spirits of Marx and Krishna, together for the first time, engaged in the inspired play called Refusal.
Curtis White is an American essayist and author. He serves as professor of English at Illinois State University, and as President of the Board of Directors of the Center for Book Culture.