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India Discovered : The Recovery of a Lost…
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India Discovered : The Recovery of a Lost Civilization (edició 2001)

de John Keay (Autor)

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892238,835 (4.09)1
Two hundred years ago, India was seen as a place with little history and less culture.Today it is revered for a notable prehistory, a magnificent classical age and a cultural tradition unique in both character and continuity. How this extraordinary change in perception came about is the subject of this fascinating book. The story, here reconstructed for the first time, is one of painstaking scholarship primed by a succession of sensational discoveries. The excitement of unearthing a city twice as old as Rome, the realization that the Buddha was not a god but a historical figure, the glories of a literature as rich as anything known in Europe, the drama of encountering a veritable Sistine chapel deep in the jungle, and the sheer delight of categorizing 'the most glorious galaxy of monuments in the world' fell, for the most part, to men who were officials of the British Raj. Their response to the unfamiliar - the explicitly sexual statuary, the incomprehensible scripts, the enigmatic architecture - and the revelations which resulted, revolutionized ideas not just about India but about civilization as a white man's prerogative. A companion volume by the author of the highly praised India: A History and The Great Arc.… (més)
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John Keay takes a look at a very little-known aspect of British rule. That of the application of Western attitudes towards history, culture and art on India's own culture and heritage - which had been forgotten at best or taken-for-granted at worst by Indians themselves.

He manages to bring out the story beautifully - that of British officers reporting these various finds with other academics trashing these finds as being of sub-standard quality. That there is an acceptance, albeit grudging, of the exquisiteness of India's crafts, culture and heritage is a testament to those anonymous craftsmen whose works still enthrall us so much.

This book is a must-read for anyone interested in the sub-continent's history and how people's attitudes towards India's art and culture have been shaped, and indeed continue to be shaped, by the comments/actions of these few officers of the Raj. ( )
  sriram_shankar | Nov 27, 2015 |
I thought that this is quite an amazing book. I have read much of the history of India, but this is the first time that I read anything about how much we Indians owe to a few intrepid and committed British people who lived in India over the course of two centuries.

The book is laid our very well indeed, and I like the manner in which John Keay takes us through the lives of these Englishmen in a very balanced and nuanced manner.

This is an excellent read, especially for an Indian. It does help to put the British Raj into a better light than is generally portrayed. Indian history owes much to these forgotten Englishmen. ( )
  RajivC | Aug 24, 2012 |
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Two hundred years ago, India was seen as a place with little history and less culture.Today it is revered for a notable prehistory, a magnificent classical age and a cultural tradition unique in both character and continuity. How this extraordinary change in perception came about is the subject of this fascinating book. The story, here reconstructed for the first time, is one of painstaking scholarship primed by a succession of sensational discoveries. The excitement of unearthing a city twice as old as Rome, the realization that the Buddha was not a god but a historical figure, the glories of a literature as rich as anything known in Europe, the drama of encountering a veritable Sistine chapel deep in the jungle, and the sheer delight of categorizing 'the most glorious galaxy of monuments in the world' fell, for the most part, to men who were officials of the British Raj. Their response to the unfamiliar - the explicitly sexual statuary, the incomprehensible scripts, the enigmatic architecture - and the revelations which resulted, revolutionized ideas not just about India but about civilization as a white man's prerogative. A companion volume by the author of the highly praised India: A History and The Great Arc.

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