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The Ruin of Kasch

4.06 of 5 stars 4.06  ·  rating details  ·  112 ratings  ·  7 reviews
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 seq ...more
Paperback, 400 pages
Published March 1st 1996 by Belknap Press (first published 1983)
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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
Anyone who has spent time studying analytical and continental philosophy knows that there is a vast shadow-world which lies at the edges of our conceptualizations. With analytical philosophy, the gaps are quite severe and for the most part are taken as essential limits which the mature mind must accept. Continental philosophy attempts to manipulate and redefine the epistemological and linguistic rifts that result from the incommensurability of perspectives. In a sense, it attempts to reach the s ...more
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
Jose Luis
El libro se plantea como un puzzle, una combinación de elementos que giran en torno a la ruina del antiguo régimen y el nacimiento de la modernidad. Se centra, al principio, en la figura de Talleyrand, el político que supo mantenerse en el poder y sus alrededores bajo la monarquía, la revolución y el imperio, traicionando todos los principios y procurándose todos los odios, pero pronto se convierte en un torbellino de ideas, anécdotas, personajes y temas que emergen de esa ruina de un mundo y de ...more
Edgar Alvarez

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.
pues me lo prestó Javo, quien me dice es su libro favorito.
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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
More about Roberto Calasso...
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