Publication Date: August 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.
About the AuthorCurtis White is the author of the novels Memories of My Father Watching TV and Requiem. A widely acclaimed essayist, his work appears regularly in Context and Harper's. He is an English professor at Illinois State University and the current president of the Center for Book Culture/Dalkey Archive Press