Monday, January 31, 2005

On Wendy Doniger

I've been away for a few days in Vieques -- a place where it was very difficult to get cell-phone reception, let alone blog.

I might write on that experience soon, and also explain why it's appropriate to take a mini-holiday in the still-overwhelming second week of the term. For now, a link from Tyler: a review of Wendy Doniger's latest book in the New York Times. Only one paragraph actually talks about the book, and that is this one:

Such is the spirit of wry playfulness that can be found in Ms. Doniger's work, and certainly throughout this new book, which almost gleefully catalogs myths and movies and plots about characters who disguise themselves as themselves. There is Hermione in Shakespeare's "Winter's Tale," who pretends to be a dead woman pretending to be a live woman. There is Kim Novak's character in Hitchcock's "Vertigo," who is covered with so many self-reflexive masks that only at the end does James Stewart see the awful truth. And there are Indian stories of Shiva and his wife, Parvati, whose identities refract over multiple incarnations. Through it all are hints of sexuality misdirected and redirected, sexuality that tricks or reveals.

That's it; the new book doesn't seem to elicit a lot of attention or direct interest. In fact, the reviewer devotes the remainder of the review to Wendy Doniger's encounters with the self-appointed Defender of Hinduism, Mr. Rajiv Malhotra.

(I've written on Malhotra's anti-Doniger crusade a couple of times (start here, if interested)

1 comment:

sepoy said...

That picture of Wendy in the NYT knocked me off my feet. Wow.

also, Nilanjana commented on CM - thought you'd be interested in reading it.