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La Nuit Bengali
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La Nuit Bengali

3.92  ·  Rating Details ·  11,226 Ratings  ·  173 Reviews

Set in 1930s Calcutta, this is a roman á clef of remarkable intimacy. Originally published in Romanian in 1933, this semiautobiographical novel by the world renowned scholar Mircea Eliade details the passionate awakenings of Alain, an ambitious young French engineer flush with colonial pride and prejudice and full of a European fascination with the mysterious subcontinent.

Published April 1st 1979 by Gallimard Education (first published January 1st 1933)
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Nov 29, 2015 Rowena rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: asia
*3.5 stars*

It's tough to rate a book like this. Initially upon finishing it I rated it quite highly, but after I've had more time to think about the content, I felt much less compelled to do so.

Bengal Nights was written by a European man in India (Calcutta in the 1930s), so I knew I was going to be shaking my head a lot. I expected racism, exotification, cultural ignorance and superiority, paternalism and simplification of the other, and I got all those:

"Once more I saw that it was civilized
Andrei Tamaş
May 14, 2015 Andrei Tamaş rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Cinci steluţe pentru informaţiile despre cultura şi mentalitatea indiană deprinse şi -de asemenea!- pentru faptul că Eliade a fost sincer cu sine şi cu cititorul. Deşi are resurse pentru a descrie iubirea (de citit "Nuntă în cer", un roman psihologic genial!), Eliade nu s-a proiectat pe sine ca un romantic înverşunat, ci ca un occidental care a poposit în India şi priveşte viaţa aşa cum a privit-o şi "acasă", deci niciun "Maitreyi e viaţa mea, aş muri fără dânsa...", ci doar o amintire plină de ...more
Andreea Obreja
I hate him! He gets what he wants, then leaves, doing all kinds of stupid stuff because suffering for love is just so poetic and everybody just loves a sad hero... Or in the beginning when he just couldn't admit what he really thought and mocked everything Indian so that he wouldn't look bad. And in the end he just HAD to be such a cynic about that girl's thoughts <.<

I don't feel like rating this. There were some things I liked but I can't remember them because I'm too furious. I shall rat
Jul 31, 2007 Angela rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: the sophisticated natures
An absolutely fabulous love story beetwen different worlds, but essentialy the same...The atmoshere is can smell the parfurmes, can taste the flavours, can feel that delicate "sari"...can even think in that specific way..that Maitreyi is used to...
Fabulous and sweet and touching!
Jan 30, 2011 Cristian rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: romance
This is another of those books that everybody seems to like except me. I think the main problem is that I found the main character - a thinly veiled author avatar - completely unsympathetic and ofter quite infuriating in his arrogant and clumsy handling of a foreign culture and others' feelings. It almost felt as if this was a 'villain protagonist' book sometimes.
Julien M.
Nov 26, 2011 Julien M. rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I love it and I hate it at the same time, if that is at all possible. I just finished reading it for the second time and, I don't really remember anything like this after reading it the first time, but it hit something inside me, wherever and whatever that is, and a very weird combination of feelings surfaced. I suppose Eliade succeeded in making the reader, or at least me, feel as close as possible to what he must have felt back then, if not towards Maitreyi, at least towards the book itself. B ...more
Awful :)
Maitreyi is awful.
Allan is OKish.
Jun 05, 2013 Diana rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Diana by: my romanian teacher
I was planning on reading this book for a very long time and now that we were asked to read it for our Romanian class I thought that this was the perfect opportunity. I actually think that this book is one of very few that I'm really glad that it is included in the scholarly program, because, to be honest, the other books and authors are really lame. Or maybe it is just my unconditional love for Eliade's literature.
What I liked most about this book was that I could actually see the love growing
Dec 15, 2016 Vlad rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Am nevoie de timp sa-mi adun gandurile.
Oct 10, 2012 Alex rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
This book is one of my favorite ones. It sure deserves a 10 star rating in the original language. I have read it in Romanian and it completely stole my consciousness for 2 days of reading. A sad true love story.
Maitreyi Devi wrote *It Does Not Die. A Romance* as a response to Eliades book.
Elena Druță
O carte frumoasă, dar prea zaharisită.
Exotismul, misticismul şi puritatea acestui roman par să fie argumente care nu pot fi negate pentru ideea că dragostea există mai presus de orice altceva. Finalul deschis al romanul dă motiv de gândire oricărui cititor sceptic față de puterea iubirii…

…şi dacă n-ar fi decât o păcăleală a dragostei mele? De ce să cred? De unde să ştiu? Aş vrea să privesc ochii Maitreyiei…
Oct 24, 2008 Andreea rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Momentously racist / orientalist / makes me hate humanity, remembering that I once saw no problem with all the bizarre things Eliade writes / does to Indian culture in this book makes me want to hurt myself...
Sep 04, 2011 mircea rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: eliade
o interactiune instinctuala cu incercari de anulare a anumitor limite/constrangeri... o metamorfoza pe nesimtite ce-o vad a fi inevitabila unui tanar fascinat de cat mai autenticul 'oriental'. Unul din acele lucruri ce trebuie facute cat mai devreme in viata, desi poate ca unii nu reusesc niciodata sa iasa din ei nici macar pentru asa o scurta bucata de timp precum s-a dovedit a fi intreaga poveste cuprinsa in aceasta carte.

O frumoasa poveste despre contrasturi si o anumita iesire din sine prin
Nancy Freund
Apr 20, 2014 Nancy Freund rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Wow. Much to consider, and as Alain says early in the novel of his love for Maitreyi, he can't describe it, because describing it will somehow corrupt it, (paraphrased here). I can't set the book down and talk about it yet. Must let it swirl around in my head a while first. But I'm so intrigued to imagine how this book is taught in Romanian high schools. Wonder if it still is today. And I wonder if its companion piece, written 40 years later from the POV of Maitreyi is also taught.
It doesn't se
Mina Soare
I didn't get bored, but that still doesn't qualify the story with much merit. As I see it, she opens her soul to him and he calls her primitive instead of listening. He understands (or does a good job pretending to) next to nothing about their culture and he leads her on/confuses her/uses her to his own liking and then dumps her and pretends to go through rehab.

Well-written, but this one has friends in the final exam reading list if you're in for that kind of thing.
Jan 10, 2009 Raluca rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
It's an emotional book,sincere...I loved the way Eliade knew to reveal things in such way to make us feel the same way he felt.
Allie R.
Jan 20, 2013 Allie R. rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
It was probably the only book that I had to read for school so far and actually enjoyed.
Jul 03, 2013 Bianca rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: books-on-asia
This is the first book I have ever read twice and it was so much worth it! I first read it in my high school years as part of the Romanian literature curriculum and it was love at first page. I had heard that the female protagonist of the book, Maitreyi, wrote herself a novel as a response to Eliade’s Maitreyi and Bengal Nights.
Some years later I got hold of her novel (‘It Does Not Die: A Romance’) and I started reading it in parallel with ‘Maitreyi’. It is one of the rare instances in literatu
Dec 29, 2011 Flocosix rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Deși scrisă frumos și cu detalii deosebite, de obicei foarte puțin prețuite în alte cărți, m-a plictisit. Totul merge încet și previzibil, ba sunt eroii în extaz, ba gîndesc la moarte și plîng, și tot așa pe tot parcursul istoriei, fără mare sens, scenariu și interes. Se presupune că descrierea detaliată a emoțiilor și interacțiunii dintre acești 2 îndrăgostiți, necătînd de cît de ridicole sunt uneori, este destula pentru a capta interesul. Păi, nu este.
Apreciez calitatea cărții, dar nu mi-a tre
Feb 01, 2010 Sara rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: school-book-list
All i can say is WOW! This book really impressed me, and is definetely outstanding among the other literature that i should read for school.The story kept me under pressure,that from the half of the book, i couldn't put it down without reading till the end. The book reverses one's thoughts, beliefs and understanding about indian culture. The author shows in his work the depth of asian spirit and demonstrates the major differences of relationship aproach between european and asian people.
Dec 24, 2010 Aniela rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The novel is very well written, but unfortunately, despite a good understanding of the Indian culture, the author kept his Occidental view on the Indian world. Good knowledge, but bad insight. Eliade's other novels based on his Romanian background are far better.
Apr 01, 2008 Corina rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
A book of spontaneous intense feelings lied on white paper. A book of out-of-this-world sensuality of a young girl and the sexual desire of a man, the belief of spiritual and erotic bound.
Alecu Matraguna
Jan 07, 2014 Alecu Matraguna rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
cea mai tare poveste de dragoste citită până acum. cartea e vibrație pură.
Sep 25, 2014 Realini rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Maitreyi by Mircea Eliade
The fascination of the Orient

I found this story interesting on the second encounter.
It is not just an interesting love story between a European and an Indian girl, but also an opportunity to think about philosophy, communicating across cultures and the clash that sometimes replaces dialogue.
In the first place, the hero- Alain is accepted into the Indian family that somehow adopts this foreigner.
But at first sight, between him and Maitreyi there is a kind of coupe de foud
I adored Mircea Eliade's work on myth and religion years ago so read this book with my own lingering love in mind. This novel is semi-autobiographic, published in 1950 and reprinted many times. Eliade writes about a young English engineer in love with an Indian girl. That is the story. It is written in the first person and it is intense. The brilliance of the novel is that, despite the intense focus on love and pain, it teaches so much about India and Britain at the time in which it set (1930s). ...more
Ionut Tiu
Sep 21, 2014 Ionut Tiu rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ro, biblioteca, x2
Am crezut ca o tin minte din adolescenta, cand am citit-o prima data, dar nu mai tineam minte mare lucru in afara de faptul ca m-a marcat. Lucrul care m-a frapat acum a fost ca citind o carte, n-am putut niciodata sa plang cum plang la un film, indiferent cat de trista este cartea! Iar Maitreyi este pentru mine o carte trista, o iubire ideala. Aceasta carte o voi asocia mereu cu Adam si Eva si Cel mai iubit dintre pamanteni. Toate trei ocupa un loc special in sufletul meu.
Recomandata la orice va
Sep 08, 2012 Dℯℯ▲ rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is literally the only book I ever had to read for school and actually enjoyed it.
I loved it to bits and read it quite fast too (for a school reading assignment, I mean).
But then again, Eliade is Eliade. He's wonderful, he's a classic and I just love his work.
Sep 25, 2007 Lorena rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: novel
A book about the many differences in cultures, cultures and love, impediments, human beeings who think different but they love in the same strong way.
Dana Păduraru
second time i've fully read it and again it made me feel so so good, love it
Aeryn Hope
Jan 26, 2017 Aeryn Hope rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Awful. I completely hated it. Allen is so sexist, and arrogant, and annoying and Maitreyi is so childish and naive. The characters were so antipathetic. Maitreyi was crying all the time, but all the time and Allen was so cocky and such a coward. The love story was so dull, absolutely boring. A story about a forbidden love, but with no feelings. This lack of feelings was really sad and disappointing.

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Romania: Susțineți romanul Maitreyi la nominalizarea lunii ! 2 56 Jan 24, 2016 05:27AM  
Wonderfoul 1 6 Dec 09, 2015 04:07AM  
  • Momente şi schiţe
  • Plumb
  • Moromeții I (Moromeții, #1)
  • Adam și Eva
  • Ultima noapte de dragoste, întîia noapte de război
  • Enigma Otiliei
  • La Medeleni [vol. 1-3]
  • Iona
  • Invitaţia la vals
  • Cireşarii (vol I-V)
  • Pânza de păianjen
  • Poveşti. Povestiri. Amintiri
  • Cişmigiu et Comp.
  • Sărmanul Dionis
Romanian-born historian of religion, fiction writer, philosopher, professor at the University of Chicago, and one of the pre-eminent interpreters of world religion in this century. Eliade was an intensely prolific author of fiction and non-fiction alike, publishing over 1,300 pieces over 60 years. He earned international fame with LE MYTHE DE L'ÉTERNAL RETOUR (1949, The Myth of the Eternal Return) ...more
More about Mircea Eliade...

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“Am iubit întotdeauna pe mai multe planuri, n-am ştiut să sacrific totul pentru un sâmbure de adevăr sau de viaţă, de aceea m-am lovit de toate pragurile şi m-au dus valurile cum au vrut.” 58 likes
“Nu puteam crede că sunt și eu asemenea celorlalte mii de muritori nefericiți, care iubesc și uită, și mor fără să socotească nimic etern, nimic definitiv.” 58 likes
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