December 16 2014 is 113th Birth Anniversary of Margaret Mead, both famous anthropologists. I don't know if they met or not.
Both Karve and Mead were my anthropology post-graduate and teacher father's favorites.
In 1970's, both the names were often mentioned at our home with respect and affection. Anthropology then, at least in Maharashtra's arts colleges, was new and 'sexy'.
Lily King's 'Euphoria' is one of the The New York Times' 'The 10 Best Books of 2014'.
What was the 'scandal'?
Read this essay by Maria Popova in 'Brain Pickings'. In one of the letters (dated 1925), Mead says to Ms. Benedict: "Your lips bring blessings — my beloved."
In September 2014, I watched award-winning Kissing Jessica Stein (2001) and some of Mead's love letters, like above, kept reminding of the dialogs in the film when Helen and Jessica describe their sexual experience with each other.
courtesy: the distributor of the film, Fox Searchlight Pictures, the publisher of the film.
I wonder if my father (now 78) knows this aspect of Mead's life and, I am even more curious, if Irawati Karve knew this before she died in 1970. (Given the power of academic grapevine, I suspect she surely knew something that had started as far back in 1925.)
And if Ms. Karve knew this, did she write about it? Did she approve of homosexuality? [I also wonder if R D Karve (र धों कर्वे), Ms. Karve's brother-in-law and first Indian sexologist knew about it.]
Facebook post by Guardian Film on September 5 2014 exhorts the reader to watch great Fritz Lang's newly restored 1931 psychological thriller M.
"Andrew Pulver recommends German director Fritz Lang's newly restored 1931 psychological thriller M. Made two years before Adolf Hitler came to power, this film about a child murderer still retains its power to disturb. It is also a trenchant treatise on crime and justice and a vivid portrait of the rapidly disintegrating Weimar republic."
Every time I read words like 'disintegrating Weimar republic', I think about the late Ms. Karve who was in Germany from 1928-1930 or so.
I am NOT familiar with all the writings in Marathi of Ms. Karve but I have not read or heard anything she has written on the subject of specifically on 'disintegrating Weimar republic'.
Ms. Karve is still famous for her Sahitya Akademi award winning book 'Yugant' (युगांत), 1967/68: a commentary on Mahabharata. I like the book and have read it several times.
However, a few others too have written in Marathi on Mahabharata, most notably Durga Bhagwat (दुर्गा भागवत), and I am sure more will do so.
But no Marathi writer of any substance has written on the last days of Weimar republic and the rise of Nazism because no one had the kind of opportunity to experience it first hand like Ms. Karve.
She wrote on mythical 'Sarpa Satra' described in Mahabharata but what about one of the biggest Sarpa-Satra's in human history?
convocation ceremony of SNDT university, 1935
the best dressed lady in the picture above is 29-year old Irawati Karve
courtesy: Marathi daily Loksatta (लोकसत्ता)
Disclaimer: I have made some statements above based on my limited knowledge of Irawati Karve's writings in Marathi. It also does not help that I have not read a word written by her daughter the late Gauri Deshpande (गौरी देशपांडे). Therefore, if my claims are wrong or based on incomplete information, I stand corrected and apologize.