History Roberto Calasso The Ruin Of Kasch

ISBN 13: 9780099576310

The Ruin Of Kasch

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9780099576310: 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 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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Review:

The Ruin of Kasch examines the rise of the modern state and the origins of romantic nationalism, whose sick fruit has been harvested in places such as Bosnia, Chechnya, and East Timor. Roberto Calasso locates the transformation in the French Revolution, when a frivolous monarchy evaporated before a government that valued order, bureaucracy, and above all secrecy. He also attributes it to Charles-Maurice de Talleyrand-Périgord (1754-1838), who was perhaps the first professional civil servant. Ever selfish, Talleyrand proved the perfect servant to the Napoleonic Era; as Napoleon said, "Principles are fine; they don't commit you to anything." The Ruin of Kasch is about Talleyrand, but also, Italo Calvino notes, "about everything else." It's a whirlwind of a book, sometimes maddeningly so. It is one to pick up, ponder, put down, argue with, and then resume reading until the next argument pops up a page or two later.

About the Author:

Roberto Calasso is the author of The Marriage of Cadmus and Harmony, as well as a novel and many literary and philosophical essays. He is Director of the publishing house Adelphi Edizioni in Milan.

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Calasso, Roberto
ISBN 10: 0099576317 ISBN 13: 9780099576310
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Descripción Paperback. Estado de conservación: Very Good. The book has been read, but is in excellent condition. Pages are intact and not marred by notes or highlighting. The spine remains undamaged. Nº de ref. de la librería GOR001257083

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Calasso, Roberto
Editorial: Vintage (1995)
ISBN 10: 0099576317 ISBN 13: 9780099576310
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Descripción Vintage, 1995. Paperback. Estado de conservación: Very Good. Very Good condition with no significant faults. Clearly used but very few minor defects. Will look good on your book case after reading but may not be suitable as a present unless hard to find elsewhere SECURE DAILY POSTING FROM UK. 30 DAY GUARANTEE. Nº de ref. de la librería mon0002543203

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Roberto Calasso
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Descripción Vintage, 1995. Paperback. Estado de conservación: Used; Good. Nº de ref. de la librería mon0001563907

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Roberto Calasso
Editorial: Vintage (1995)
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Descripción Vintage, 1995. Paperback. Estado de conservación: Used; Good. **SHIPPED FROM UK** We believe you will be completely satisfied with our quick and reliable service. All orders are dispatched as swiftly as possible! Buy with confidence!. Nº de ref. de la librería mon0001801048

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Roberto Calasso
Editorial: Vintage 01/06/1995 (1995)
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Descripción Vintage 01/06/1995, 1995. Estado de conservación: Good. Will be shipped promptly from UK warehouse. Book is in good condition with no missing pages, no damage or soiling and tight spine. There may be some dog-eared pages showing previous use but overall a great book. Nº de ref. de la librería 9053-9780099576310

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Descripción -. Paperback. Estado de conservación: Good. The Ruin Of Kasch This book is in good or better condition. It has no tears to the pages and no pages will be missing from the book. The spine of the book is still in great condition and the front cover is generally unmarked. It has signs of previous use but overall is in really nice, tight condition. Shipping is normally same day from our UK warehouse. We offer a money back guarantee if you are not satisfied. Nº de ref. de la librería 9053-9780099576310

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Roberto Calasso
Editorial: Vintage 01/06/1995 (1995)
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Descripción Vintage 01/06/1995, 1995. Estado de conservación: Very Good. Shipped within 24 hours from our UK warehouse. Clean, undamaged book with no damage to pages and minimal wear to the cover. Spine still tight, in very good condition. Remember if you are not happy, you are covered by our 100% money back guarantee. Nº de ref. de la librería 6545-9780099576310

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Roberto Calasso
Editorial: Vintage 01/06/1995 (1995)
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Descripción Vintage 01/06/1995, 1995. Estado de conservación: Good. Shipped within 24 hours from our UK warehouse. Clean, undamaged book with no damage to pages and minimal wear to the cover. Spine still tight, in good condition. Remember if you are not happy, you are covered by our 100% money back guarantee. Nº de ref. de la librería 2341-9780099576310

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Roberto Calasso
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Descripción Vintage, 1995. Estado de conservación: Fair. This book has soft covers. Ex-library, With usual stamps and markings, In fair condition, suitable as a study copy. Nº de ref. de la librería 3635296

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Calasso, Roberto
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Descripción Paperback. Estado de conservación: Very Good. The book has been read, but is in excellent condition. Pages are intact and not marred by notes or highlighting. The spine remains undamaged. Nº de ref. de la librería FPS0099576317VG

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