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The Ruin of Kasch by Roberto Calasso

Title The Ruin of Kasch
Author Roberto Calasso
Publisher
Release 2018-01-25
Category
Total Pages 432
ISBN 9780141397016
Language English, Spanish, and French
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Book Summary:

The Ruin of Kaschtakes up two subjects- "the first is Talleyrand, and the second is everything else," wrote Italo Calvino when the book first appeared in 1983. Hailed as one of those rare books that persuade us to see our entire civilization in a new light, its guide is the French statesman Charles-Maurice de Talleyrand, who knew the secrets of the ancien rUgimeand all that came after, and was able to adapt the notion of "legitimacy" to the modern age. Roberto Calasso follows him through a vast gallery of scenes set immediately before and after the French Revolution, making occasional forays backward and forward in time, from Vedic India to the porticoes of the Palais-Royal and to the killing fields of Pol Pot, with appearances by Goethe and Marie Antoinette, Napoleon and Marx, Walter Benjamin and Chateaubriand. At the centre stands the story of the ruin of Kasch, a legendary kingdom based on the ritual killing of the king and emblematic of the ruin of ancient and modern regimes.

The Ruin of Kasch by Roberto Calasso

Title The Ruin of Kasch
Author Roberto Calasso
Publisher Penguin UK
Release 2018-01-25
Category Literary Collections
Total Pages 432
ISBN 0141397020
Language English, Spanish, and French
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Book Summary:

A sparkling new translation of the classic work on violence and revolution as seen through mythology and art The Ruin of Kasch takes up two subjects: "the first is Talleyrand, and the second is everything else," wrote Italo Calvino when the book first appeared in 1983. Hailed as one of those rare books that persuade us to see our entire civilization in a new light, its guide is the French statesman Charles-Maurice de Talleyrand, who knew the secrets of the ancien régime and all that came after, and was able to adapt the notion of "legitimacy" to the modern age. Roberto Calasso follows him through a vast gallery of scenes set immediately before and after the French Revolution, making occasional forays backward and forward in time, from Vedic India to the porticoes of the Palais-Royal and to the killing fields of Pol Pot, with appearances by Goethe and Marie Antoinette, Napoleon and Marx, Walter Benjamin and Chateaubriand. At the centre stands the story of the ruin of Kasch, a legendary kingdom based on the ritual killing of the king and emblematic of the ruin of ancient and modern regimes. 'Startling, puzzling, profound . . . a work charged with intelligence and literary seduction' The New York Times 'Unique, idiosyncratic and vaultingly ambitious... essential reading' Independent 'A great fat jewel-box of a book, gleaming with obscure treasures' John Banville

The Celestial Hunter by Roberto Calasso

Title The Celestial Hunter
Author Roberto Calasso
Publisher Farrar, Straus and Giroux
Release 2020-04-28
Category History
Total Pages 464
ISBN 0374716706
Language English, Spanish, and French
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Book Summary:

A New York Times Book Review Editors' Choice "[Calasso's] flow of associations leaves you feeling not out of your depth, but smarter and better read." --The New York Times Book Review The eighth part of Roberto Calasso’s monumental series on the primal forces of civilization The eighth part of Roberto Calasso’s singular work in progress that began in 1983 with The Ruin of Kasch, The Celestial Hunter is an inspired and provocative exploration of mankind’s relationship with myth, the divine, and the idea of transformation. There was a time, even before prehistory, when man was simply a defenseless animal. The gods he worshiped took the form of other beasts or were the patterns of the stars he saw above him each night in the sky, which he transformed into figures and around which he created stories. Soon, however, man learned to imitate the animals that attacked him and he became a hunter. This transformation, Calasso posits, from defenseless victim to hunter was a key moment, the first step on man’s ascendance to power. Suddenly the notion of the hunter became fundamental. It would be developed over thousands of years through the figures that became central to Greek mythology, including the constellations. Among them was Orion, the celestial hunter, and his dog, Sirius. Vivid and strikingly original, and expertly translated from the Italian by Richard Dixon, The Celestial Hunter traces how man created the divine myths that would become the cornerstones of Western civilization. As Calasso demonstrates, the repercussions of these ideas would echo through history, from Paleolithic to modern times. And they would be the product of one thing: the human mind.

The Book of All Books by Roberto Calasso

Title The Book of All Books
Author Roberto Calasso
Publisher Penguin UK
Release 2021-11-16
Category Religion
Total Pages 464
ISBN 0141992875
Language English, Spanish, and French
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Book Summary:

A splendid reimagining of key stories from the Bible, by the author of The Marriage of Cadmus and Harmony. A man named Saul is sent to search for some lost donkeys and on the way is named king of his people. The queen of a remote African realm travels for three years with her multitudinous retinue to meet the king of Jerusalem and pose him a few riddles. A man named Abraham hears a divine voice speaking words that reverberate throughout the Bible: 'Go away from your land, from your kindred and from the house of your father toward the land that I will show you'. In The Book of All Books, Roberto Calasso weaves together stories of promise and separation from one of the founding texts of Western civilisation. These tales of grace and guilt, of the chosen and the damned, cast many Biblical figures and indeed the whole book in a light as astonishing as it is disquieting. The Book of All Books is part of a larger work which began with The Ruin of Kasch (1983) and includes The Marriage of Cadmus and Harmony, Ka, and The Celestial Hunter.

Ardor by Roberto Calasso

Title Ardor
Author Roberto Calasso
Publisher Farrar, Straus and Giroux
Release 2014-11-18
Category Religion
Total Pages 432
ISBN 1429955805
Language English, Spanish, and French
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Book Summary:

In a meditation on the wisdom of the Vedas, Roberto Calasso brings ritual and sacrifice to bear on the modern world In this revelatory volume, Roberto Calasso, whom The Paris Review has called "a literary institution," explores the ancient texts known as the Vedas. Little is known about the Vedic people, who lived more than three thousand years ago in northern India: They left behind almost no objects, images, or ruins. They created no empires. Even the soma, the likely hallucinogenic plant that appears at the center of some of their rituals, has not been identified with any certainty. Only a "Parthenon of words" remains: verses and formulations suggesting a daring understanding of life. "If the Vedic people had been asked why they did not build cities," writes Calasso, "they could have replied: we did not seek power, but rapture." This is the ardor of the Vedic world, a burning intensity that is always present, both in the mind and in the cosmos. With his signature erudition and profound sense of the past, Calasso explores the enigmatic web of ritual and myth that defines the Vedas. Often at odds with modern thought, these texts illuminate the nature of consciousness more vividly than anything else has managed to till now. Following the "hundred paths" of the Satapatha Brahmana, an impressive exegesis of Vedic ritual, Ardor indicates that it may be possible to reach what is closest by passing through that which is most remote, as "the whole of Vedic India was an attempt to think further."

Ruins of Kasch by Roberto Calasso

Title Ruins of Kasch
Author Roberto Calasso
Publisher
Release 1993
Category
Total Pages 220
ISBN
Language English, Spanish, and French
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Book Summary:

The Art of the Publisher by Roberto Calasso

Title The Art of the Publisher
Author Roberto Calasso
Publisher Farrar, Straus and Giroux
Release 2015-11-03
Category Language Arts & Disciplines
Total Pages 160
ISBN 0374711836
Language English, Spanish, and French
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Book Summary:

An interior look at Roberto Calasso's work as a publisher and his reflections on the art of book publishing In this fascinating memoir, the author and publisher Roberto Calasso meditates on the art of book publishing. Recalling the beginnings of Adelphi in the 1960s, he touches on the Italian house's defining qualities, including the considerations involved in designing the successful Biblioteca series and the strategy for publishing a wide range of authors of high literary quality, as well as the historic critical edition of the works of Nietzsche. With his signature erudition and polemical flair, Calasso transcends Adelphi to look at the publishing industry as a whole, from the essential importance of graphics, jackets, and cover flaps to the consequences of universal digitization. And he outlines what he describes as the "most hazardous and ambitious" profile of what a publishing house can be: a book comprising many books, a form in which "all the books published by a certain publisher could be seen as links in a single chain"—a conception akin to that of other twentieth-century publishers, from Giulio Einaudi to Roger Straus, of whom the book offers brief portraits. An essential book for writers, readers, and editors, The Art of the Publisher is a tribute to the elusive yet profoundly relevant art of making books.

The Unnamable Present by Roberto Calasso

Title The Unnamable Present
Author Roberto Calasso
Publisher Penguin UK
Release 2019-04-09
Category Literary Collections
Total Pages 160
ISBN 0141988029
Language English, Spanish, and French
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Book Summary:

Tourists, terrorists, secularists, hackers, fundamentalists, transhumanists, algorithmicians: in this book Roberto Calasso considers the tribes that inhabit and inform the world today. A world that feels more elusive than ever before. This book, the ninth part of a work in progress, is a meditation on the obscure and ubiquitous process of transformation happening in societies today, where distant echoes of Auden's The Age of Anxiety give way to something altogether more unsettling.

Title The Marriage of Cadmus and Harmony
Author Roberto Calasso
Publisher Penguin UK
Release 2019-07-25
Category Social Science
Total Pages 416
ISBN 0141990759
Language English, Spanish, and French
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Book Summary:

'It will be read and re-read not as a treatise but as a story: one of the most extraordinary that has ever been written of the origins of Western self-consciousness' Simon Schama The marriage of Cadmus and Harmony was the last time the gods of Olympus feasted alongside mortals. What happened in the distant ages preceding it, and in the generations that followed, form the timeless tales of ancient Greek mythology. In this masterful retelling of the myths we think we know, Roberto Calasso illuminates the deepest questions of our existence. 'The kind of book one comes across only once or twice in one's lifetime' Joseph Brodsky 'A perfect work like no other' Gore Vidal

Unreasonable Doubt by Norma Thompson

Title Unreasonable Doubt
Author Norma Thompson
Publisher Paul Dry Books
Release 2011
Category Law
Total Pages 207
ISBN 1589880722
Language English, Spanish, and French
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Book Summary:

"Part detective story, part social commentary, part intellectual autobiography, part philosophical analysis, this is a jury book unlike any other."—Anthony Kronman, Sterling Professor of Law and former Dean, Yale Law School "[Norma Thompson] teaches us, brilliantly and painlessly, why judging, as opposed to simply knowing, is an essential part of a responsible human existence, recounting the trials and crimes and moral dilemmas of antiquity and classical tradition in a stunningly original reading."—Abraham D. Sofaer, Senior Fellow, Hoover Institution, and former United States District Judge In 2001, Norma Thompson served on the jury in a murder trial in New Haven, Connecticut. In Unreasonable Doubt, Thompson dramatically depicts the jury's deliberations, which ended in a deadlock. As foreperson, she pondered the behavior of some of her fellow jurors that led to the trial's termination in a hung jury. Blending personal memoir, social analysis, and literary criticism, she addresses the evasion of judgment she witnessed during deliberations and relates that evasion to contemporary political, social, and legal affairs. She then assembles an imaginary jury of Tocqueville, Plato, and Jane Austen, among others, to show how the writings of these authors can help model responsible habits of deliberation.

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