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Title: Mito e contagio: per un'analisi comparativa dei 'Śītalāmaṅgalkābya' e de 'Il cromosoma Calcutta'
Authors: Ferrari, Fabrizio M.
Refolo, Mariapaola
Keywords: Śītalā
The Calcutta Chromosome
Ghosh, Amitav
Issue Date: 2005
Publisher: Padova, Editoriale Programma
Abstract: The paper aims to analyse and compare the myth of the viral transmission and the transmission of myth as virus in the 'poems of blessing' (maṅgalkābya) of the Bengali smallpox goddess Śītalā and the 20th century novel 'The Calcutta Chromosome' by Amitav Ghosh. The mythology of disease in Bengal is herein analysed from both a popular and empirical perspective, with particular emphasis on the role of folk protective-cum-malign goddesses as Śītalā. The ambivalence of Śītalā is reflected in the role of inoculators, on the one hand, and folk singers, on the other. The maṅgalkābyas are thus considered a necessity in that they mark the passage of the goddess but also prevent the affliction. Amitav Ghosh’s The Calcutta Chromosome has been analysed according to the same parameters. The success of vaccine against pox viruses and the banishment of variolation techniques have not determined a decline in worshipping Śītalā and diseases-deities. Worship modalities have simply been adapted to modern times.
ISSN: 1125-3762
Appears in Collections:Annali di Ca' Foscari. Serie orientale

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