Chapter

The Anger of the Rishis

Lawrence Cohen

in No Aging in India

Published by University of California Press

Published in print July 1998 | ISBN: 9780520083967
Published online May 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780520925328 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1525/california/9780520083967.003.0006
The Anger of the Rishis

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The positioning of the old person in the third-person terms of hot/cold and other oppositions points not only to the physiological but the social body of the abstracted elder. The windy and dry person, blowing both hot and cold, illuminates a wealth of positioned information. Heat, particularly in the context of the life cycle, may be read as the externalization of power. These oppositional rhetorics of thermodynamic sociality were more useful glosses in some interviews than in others, among some households more than others, in ways that did not cut neatly across class, caste, gender, or family history. This chapter locates the voice of the hot brain in more general ways: as emblematic of intergenerational conflict, as part of a set of old voices, as a particular embodiment of the family itself, and as a sign of what we might call a dying space.

Keywords: Sanskrit epics; heat; old person; intergenerational conflict; dying space

Chapter.  17935 words. 

Subjects: Medical Anthropology

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