The Marriage of Cadmus and Harmony

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Author: Roberto Calasso

Publisher: Vintage

ISBN: 0804151342

Category: Fiction

Page: 416

View: 980

Presenting the stories of Zeus and Europa, Theseus and Ariadne, the birth of Athens and the fall of Troy, in all their variants, Calasso also uncovers the distant origins of secrets and tragedy, virginity, and rape. "A perfect work like no other. (Calasso) has re-created . . . the morning of our world."--Gore Vidal. 15 engravings.

Ka

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Author: Roberto Calasso

Publisher: Random House

ISBN: 0099750716

Category: Mythology, Indic

Page: 443

View: 7759

The first impact of this text about the Indianness of India is one of strangeness, bewilderment and disorientation. However, slowly the strange becomes familiar, and as Ka folds and enfolds the world of Deva and the Seven Seers, of Siva, and through to the advent of Budhha, all becomes clear.

The Ruin of Kasch

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Author: Roberto Calasso

Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux

ISBN: 0374712832

Category: History

Page: 432

View: 3097

A brilliant new translation of a 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 center 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. Offered here in a new translation by Richard Dixon, The Ruin of Kasch is, as John Banville wrote, “a great fat jewel-box of a book, gleaming with obscure treasures.”

K.

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Author: Roberto Calasso

Publisher: Vintage

ISBN: 0307534138

Category: Literary Criticism

Page: 336

View: 1878

From the internationally acclaimed author of The Marriage of Cadmus and Harmony comes one of the most significant books in recent years on a writer of perennial interest–a virtuoso interpretation of the work of Franz Kafka. What are Kafka’s fictions about? Are they dreams? Allegories? Symbols? Countless answers have been offered, but the essential mystery remains intact. Setting out on his own exploration, Roberto Calasso enters the flow, the tortuous movement, the physiology of Kafka’s work to discover why K. and Josef K.–the protagonists of The Castle and The Trial–are so radically different from any other character in the history of the novel, and to determine who, in the end, is K. The culmination of Calasso’s lifelong fascination with Kafka’s work, K. is also an unprecedented consideration of the mystery of Kafka himself. From the Trade Paperback edition.

Ardor

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Author: Roberto Calasso

Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux

ISBN: 1429955805

Category: Religion

Page: 432

View: 8917

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."

The Unnamable Present

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Author: Roberto Calasso

Publisher: Penguin UK

ISBN: 0141988029

Category: Literary Collections

Page: 160

View: 4346

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. Yet once contrasted with the period between 1933 and 1945, when the world made a partially successful attempt at self-annihilation, the new millennium begins to take on an unprecedented form. What emerges is something illusory, ever-shifting and occasionally murderous: the unnamable present. 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.

The Art of the Publisher

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Author: Roberto Calasso

Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux

ISBN: 0374711836

Category: Language Arts & Disciplines

Page: 160

View: 5917

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.

K.. Roberto Calasso

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Author: Roberto Calasso

Publisher: Vintage

ISBN: 9780224071925

Category:

Page: 327

View: 1830

From the internationally acclaimed author of Cadmus and Harmony and Ka: an utterly original, fascinating interpretation of the work of Franz Kafka that is simultaneously an unprecedented exploration into the mystery of Kafka himself. What are Kafka's stories about? Are they dreams? Allegories? Symbols? Things that happen everyday? But where and when? Countless answers have been offered, but the question still arouses feelings of acute uncertainty. Many solutions have been proposed, but the essential mystery remains intact. In this remarkable book, Roberto Calasso sets out not to dispel the mystery but to let it be illuminated by its own light. To that end, with his unique vision, imagination, and intellectual acumen, Calasso attempts to enter the flow, the tortuous movement, the physiology of the stories to discover what they are meant to signify and to delve into the most basic question along the way: Who is K.? The culmination of the author's lifelong fascination with Kafka, K. is a book of significant literary importance, the fourth part in a work in progress of which the previous volumes are The Ruin of Kasch, The Marriage of Cadmus and Harmony, and Ka.

Power, Sect and State in Syria

The Politics of Marriage and Identity amongst the Druze

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Author: A. Maria A. Kastrinou

Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing

ISBN: 0857727524

Category: Social Science

Page: 288

View: 3344

The Syrian state's rhetoric of Arab nationalism left little room for the official recognition of minority identities in pre-war Syria. Yet in practice, the state continually engaged with the Druze and other minorities to reinforce its legitimacy, often through cultural policy. Uncovering this neglected aspect of pre-war Syrian politics, Kastrinou explores the cultural politics of marriage in Syria, primarily among the Druze, to reveal how practical rituals of marriage inform sectarian and national identity formation.Challenging the assumed inherence of sectarianism and Druze endogamy, the book provides an historical and ethnographic account of political power and its relation to social control in Syria. It demonstrates the centrality of the body to Druze cosmology and how ritual performances of birth, marriage and death maintain and negotiate sectarian cohesion. Connecting these struggles to national and international politics, Kastrinou examines how both the Syrian government and the European Union have sponsored marriage-themed dance performances in Syria, each leveraging its cultural importance to legitimise their own policy goals. The book establishes marriage as a pervasive idiom for the construction of collective identity in Syria, which is appropriated by individuals, sects, states and intergovernmental organizations alike. Its conclusions are relevant to scholars of Middle East studies, sectarianism, anthropology and politics.

The Forty-Nine Steps

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Author: Roberto Calasso

Publisher: Random House

ISBN: 1446414876

Category: Literary Criticism

Page: 304

View: 684

In books lauded as brilliant, exhilarating and profound, Roberto Calasso has revealed the unexpected intersections of ancient and modern through topics ranging from Greek and Indian mythology to what a legendary African kingdom can tell us about the French Revolution. In this first translation of his most important essays, Calasso brings his powerful intellect and elegant prose style to bear on the essential thinkers of our time, providing a sweeping analysis of the current state of Western culture.'Forty-nine steps' refers to the Talmudic doctrine that there are forty-nine steps to meaning in every passage of the Torah. Employing this interpretative approach, Calasso offers a 'secret history' of European literature and philosophy in the wake of Nietzsche, Marx and Freud. Calasso analyses how figures ranging from Gustav Flaubert, Gottfried Benn, Karl Kraus and Martin Heidegger to Walter Benjamin, Franz Kafka, Bertolt Brecht and Theodor Adorno have contributed to, or been emblematic of, the current state of Western thought. This book's theme, writ large, is the power of the fable - specifically, its persistence in art and literature despite its exclusion from orthodox philosophy. In its breadth and the nature of its concerns, The Forty-nine Steps is a philosophical and literary twin to the widely praised Marriage of Cadmus and Harmony. Combining erudition with engaging prose and original insights, Calasso contributes a daring new interpretation of some of the most challenging writers of the past 150 years.