on 30 December 1998
In this very scholarly and gripping account of the Western stereotyping of Indian art and culture, the author demonstrates how very little has changed in the last 700 years since the first written accounts of Indian culture appeared in the writings of the travelers to India. The main problem seems to be that Westerners do not have an appropriate framework to objectively assess and apppreciate the pluralistic themes and the rich textures that Indian art and culture represent. Consequently, the early writers had to resort to narrow Christian medievalism for their distorted vision of India, and more recently, to myopic rationalism and pretentious scholarship--all of which have contributed to the total "failure" in the Western interpretation of India. This is a great book that exposes Western (especially American) superciliousness that continues to plague the Westerners' intolerance for other cultures.