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The Transposed Heads: A Legend of India by…

The Transposed Heads: A Legend of India

by Thomas Mann

Other authors: See the other authors section.

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238473,527 (3.72)31



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Showing 4 of 4
Few pages, leaving the reader with much to think about. What is attraction? What is beauty? What is the role of love and lust in a relationship? What is, ultimately, morality? Written with a light, humorous touch, the book is unforgettable. ( )
2 vote polutropos | Nov 30, 2008 |
So much to contemplate in such a slender volume, ‘The Transposed Heads’ retells an Indian myth of lust and desire and love and identity. Two men fall for a beautiful woman - the intellectual one becomes love-sick' and takes her as his bride.

The philosophical core of the book is the dilemma of choice and desire, ‘brawn’ versus ‘brain’ in this instance, where the woman falls for both men, one for his body and the other his ‘head’.

Visiting a temple, the men cut of their heads and the Goddess of the temple instructs the woman to reattach them, making sure that the heads are facing the right way. However the heads are mixed up and become attached to the wrong bodies – perhaps slightly intentionally as Mann hints later.

The rest of the fable deals with the moral dilemmas of monogamy, friendship, identity and lust. Who is her husband? What are her loyalties and responsibilities? What are her desires? Read this book and find out how it plays out. ( )
4 vote kiwidoc | Nov 30, 2008 |
This folkloric, Hindu-light treatment of desire, loyalty and identity lacks the craft, gravity and heft of other Thomas Mann novels. His few prose outbursts in description of beauty or deity seem strained in their efforts to sound like products of a different literary tradition. Yes, the philosophy of India was exercising a noticeable pull on German thinkers around the time of Mann's composition and experimentation is fun; but Mann's homage doesn't seem particularly well informed or well executed. For someone with Mann's gift for creating memorable characters to provide us with just three wafer-thin creations, mostly for the purpose of spouting used-up meditations on ways of living in the world, was rather disappointing. However, the physicality of the book, its beheadings and transformations make it a rather quick read. Fans of Mann won't be that impressed and junkies of all things India probably won't be that satisfied either. ( )
  fieldnotes | Nov 11, 2008 |
A short novella dealing with some of the most basic human conflicts and the most fundamental question of identity. Magical realism be damned. And where's the sixth star? ( )
1 vote A_musing | Jan 7, 2008 |
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Mann, Thomasprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Rand, PaulCover designersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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"The story of Sita of the beautiful hips ... and of her two husbands" is a tale of sexual desire and marital responsibility, set in India.--p. [3].

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