The Ruin of Kasch

The Ruin of Kasch Taking as his focus the periods immediately before and after the French Revolution but making occasional sallies backward and forward in time from Vedic India to the porticoes of the Palais Royal and

  • Title: The Ruin of Kasch
  • Author: Roberto Calasso William Weaver Stephen Sartarelli
  • ISBN: 9780674780293
  • Page: 131
  • Format: Paperback
  • Taking as his focus the periods immediately before and after the French Revolution but making occasional sallies backward and forward in time from Vedic India to the porticoes of the Palais Royal and to the killing fields of Pol Pot Calasso recounts, elucidates, and interprets the downfall of what Baudelaire was already calling the Modern This downfall came as a seqTaking as his focus the periods immediately before and after the French Revolution but making occasional sallies backward and forward in time from Vedic India to the porticoes of the Palais Royal and to the killing fields of Pol Pot Calasso recounts, elucidates, and interprets the downfall of what Baudelaire was already calling the Modern This downfall came as a sequel to an earlier and opposite collapse that of the archaic societies which were regulated by the movements of the stars and the rituals of sacrifice At the center of the work stands the story of the ruin of Kasch, a legendary African kingdom whose annihilation becomes emblematic of the ruin of the ancient and modern worlds The genius of Calasso s book is that, in its illuminating blend of literature and ideas, it establishes a genre all its own Its form is a rich blend of anecdotes, quotations, analysis, digressions, aphorisms, dialogues, historical discussion, and straightforward storytelling that beautifully mirrors its subject matter and evokes the protean spirit of Modernism It is a sumptuous literary feast Calasso brings to his stage a vast gallery of characters, including Laclos and Marx, Benjamin and Chateaubriand, Sainte Beuve and Levi Strauss, Max Stirner and Joseph de Maistre And presiding over them all is the French statesman Charles Maurice de Talleyrand Perigord, who knew the secrets of both the Old and New regimes and who was able to adjust the perplexing and cruel notion of legitimacy to the modern age Cynical Talleyrand who showed that success in the new era depends on agility, fluidity, and a consummate sense of style serves, fittingly, as the master of ceremonies throughout the book,which is at once a meditation on the origins and nature of power and a breathtaking synthesis of Western cultural history It is an extraordinary reading experience.

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    About “Roberto Calasso William Weaver Stephen Sartarelli”

    1. Roberto Calasso William Weaver Stephen Sartarelli

      Roberto Calasso born 30 May 1941 in Florence is an Italian publisher and writer He was born into a family of the local upper class, well connected with some of the great Italian intellectuals of their time His maternal grandfather Giovanni Codignola was a professor of philosophy at Florence University Codignola created a new publishing house called La Nuova Italia, in Florence, just like his friend Benedetto Croce had done in Bari with Laterza His uncle Tristano Codignola, partigiano during the Resistenza, after the war joined the political life of the new republic, and was for a while Minister of Education His mother Melisenda who gave up a promising academic career to raise her three children was a scholar of German literature, and had worked on H lderlin s translations of the Greek poet Pindar His father Francesco was a law professor, first at Florence University and then in Rome, where he eventually became dean of his faculty He has been working for Adelphi Edizioni since its founding in 1962 and became its Chairman in 1999 His books have from 1990 been translated into most European languages After a successful career in publishing he has become a leading intellectual citation needed He is the author of a work in progress, that started with The Ruin of Kasch in 1983, a book welcome by Italo Calvino, dedicated to the French statesman Talleyrand and to a reflection on the culture of modernity This was followed in 1988 by The Marriage of Cadmus and Harmony, a book where the tale of Cadmus and his wife Harmonia becomes a pretext for re writing the great tales of Greek mythology and reflect on the reception of Greek culture for a contemporary readership The trend for portraying whole civilizations continues with Ka where the subject of the re writing is Hindu mythology K instead restricts the focus to one single author Franz Kafka this trend continues with Il rosa Tiepolo, inspired by an adjective used by Proust to describe a shade of pink used by Tiepolo in his paintings With his latest book, La folie Baudelaire, Calasso goes back to the fresco of whole civilisations, this time re writing the lives and works of the artists that revolutionised our artistic taste, the symbolist poets and impressionist painters.His essaystic production is collected in a few books I quarantanove gradini The Forty nine Steps, a collection of essays about major authors and thinkers in European modernity addressed to Pierre Klossowski and his wife His Oxford lessons are collected in Literature and the Gods In 2005 Calasso published La follia che viene dalle ninfe, a collection of essays on the influence of the nymph in literature, which is discussed through authors ranging from Plato to Nabokov.

    648 thoughts on “The Ruin of Kasch”

    1. I was steered to Calasso's first English translation by Hugh Graham, citing its exploration of man's moral separation from the cosmos as a prime inspiration for his superb-but-little-read book The Vestibule of Hell. I owe Graham a double round of thanks; not content to thrill me with one masterpiece, he has led me directly to a second.The Ruin of Kasch has three hundred and fifty-six pages that read like half again as many—Calasso, certainly as well-read in a broad field of studies as any auth [...]


    2. Half of this went right over my head - his glosses on the Vedas and Das Kapital, etc. - but what a style![the true historian's] desired prey is primarily what has eluded memory and what has had every reason to elude it. After lengthy training in this struggle with the opaque, he will be able to test himself against Plutarchan figures, who are, in contrast, obscured by an excess of testimony - that thick carapace history secretes to keep them remote from us. And the end of his arrogant rise, the [...]


    3. I started this one as a fresh-face graduate, I finish it 19 years later at roughly the age Roberto Calasso was when he published it, his first book, and the foundational section of his life's work, an exploration of sacrifice, myth and modernity. Most of Calasso's cast and almost all his themes turn up here - Baudelaire; Kafka; the Vedic seers of ancient India and their elaborate edifices of ritual sacrifice. Other figures - like Saint-Beuve and Walter Benjamin - appear as echoes of the author a [...]


    4. I really didn't like the high brow approach which made it virtually unreadable. Little snippets about Napolean, Talleyrand. I ploughed through it - skipped, skimmed over some - too rambling and philosophical.


    5. La figura di Tayllerand, maestro di cerimonie della cesura storica tra Età Moderna ed Età Contemporanea, si staglia maestosamente al centro di questo affresco - impossibile da riassumere - tra storia, filosofia e letteratura.


    6. Hay libros que resultan interesantes porque muestran nuevas perspectivas sobre viejos temas. También hay libros que abren puertas que antes no habíamos identificado. Sin embargo, por encima de dichas clases de buenos libros, existen otros de una naturaleza profunda, que buscan abrirse paso hacia el obscuro abismo en el que habita la llama del intelecto humano. La Ruina de K pertenece a esta clase selecta de libros.


    7. Maybe I'm just becoming dense in my old age or perhaps I lack the patience to give this book a really good go but whatever the reason I just found the form of the narrative in its choppy style unapproachable. It may be far better than I give it credit for but I gave up a quarter of the way in, it's all well and good being clever but fiction should be enjoyable too.





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