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4.03  ·  Rating Details ·  127 Ratings  ·  14 Reviews
«L’energia creativa di Roberto Calasso è inarrestabile. Dichiara di presentare l’opera di Kafka come se venisse “illuminata dalla sua propria luce” e ci riesce in maniera inimitabile. Molti dei suoi lettori non potranno fare a meno di rileggere Kafka» (Muriel Spark).«L’opera di Calasso è una pietra miliare non solo della lussureggiante letteratura su Kafka, ma della letter ...more
Paperback, Gli Adelphi #270, 360 pages
Published 2005 by Adelphi (first published 2002)
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Jim Coughenour
Kafka can't be understood if he isn't taken literally.

It took me 10 years to finish this short book. For some reason I was generally satisfied with a few pages, something that easily happens with Calasso's writing, always astonishing in its erudition even when it seems to glide across the page. K. is less a commentary than a meditation on what Kafka called "the indestructible."
This word brings to mind the Vedic akshara more than it does any term used in less remote traditions. Kafka never chose
Jul 13, 2008 Alex rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Alex by: Maya-ji
I had read Calasso's Ka and Kafka's Der Process before I slogged through K.. Is this book more of a sequel to the former or the latter? I would have to say I don't know. But it's weird to use the Vedas to read modernist literature, isn't it?

I've never been enthralled with Kafka. Too German. Too much like a succession of cloudy days. Too much like modern times. Too much Max Weber's iron cage transmogrified onto page.

But now I must admit I've developed a soft spot for the guy! (Just don't throw an
warning! for kafka lovers only. this dense literary criticism tries to figure out who was 'k'. all the 'k's' too: K. and Josef K. and Kafka with the kapital k.
after a hard slog through, i kannot really say if kalasso really answered his kuestion.
Mar 26, 2008 Antoine rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Serious Kafka Fans
About two or three chapters in so far, and I can confirm that this is decidedly a book about Kafka (some other readers expressed surprise on this point)... and more specifically about two of Novels. But that is exectly what I was expecting. Kafka is particularly well-suited to Calasso's trippy mythopoeic form of analysis. It helps to have read The Marriage of Cadmus and Harmony and The Ruin of Kasch, also by Calasso. I have a strong feeling that it would also help to have read Ka. But I haven't. ...more
Feb 01, 2014 Blair rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
An insightful look into Kafka's work that concentrates mostly on The Castle and The Trial but also looks at his other works and draws quite extensively on his diaries and letters. Calasso has an aphoristic style and can be a little obtuse at times, but he quotes liberally from the work and gave me some interesting ways to consider Kafka's work that I hadn't considered before. I read this for the Kafka subject matter but I'm keen to read more by Calasso.
Jan 10, 2009 jessica rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: any kafka lover
Shelves: schoolstuff
I first read some of this in 2006 before graduation. Roberto Calasso knows Kafka.
Aug 21, 2007 sean rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: steven soderbergh
the most pretentious attempt at dissecting kafka.
Jul 03, 2016 Richard rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Makes more sense of Kafka than any other critic I've read, though I must admit I found the perspectives of The Trial more compelling than The Castle, maybe because I've always found The Castle more incomplete, a proto-draft that may give us glimpses into Kafka's material and process but too raw and sloppy to be definite. The Trial, however, is such a classic that this attention proves wonderful.
Dec 30, 2015 Katrinka rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Wish I could give this one a 3.75. Wasn't nearly as good as The Marriage of Cadmus and Harmony, but Calasso really does have a fantastic way with words.
Mar 16, 2015 Roland rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
nearly killed me, this. Good though
Jake Bittle
I need to read more Kafka, Calasso needs to read less Indian philosophy.
Juan José
Una exégesis "rara" de la obra kafkiana. No me convenció el fondo aunque la forma es correcta. Libro a veces incomprensible si bien lleno de amor y erudición por Kafka.
Akif Uzman
A curious book about a curious guy.
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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 ...more
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