The most difficult book i read in 2018 roberto calassos the ruin of kasch i picked up at the donation table disbursing the personal library of a dead poet to his semblables around montreal in a dark bar before a reading. The ruin of kasch by roberto calasso henry hopwood phillips reviews the 1995 english translation of roberto calassos book the ruin of kasch a discourse on talleyrand occasioning exploration of the modern through the lens of mythology. Calasso unpacks the hidden meanings in this simple parable the story of the kingdom of kasch teaches how sacrifice is the cause of ruin and also how the absence of sacrifice is the cause of ruin this pair of simultaneous and contradictory truths points to a single and darker truth which rests in the stillness society is the ruin. The ruin of kasch by roberto calasso translated by william weaver and stephen sartarelli carcanet 385 pp 1995 november 1994 isbn 0 85635 713 8 roberto calasso is an italian publisher who writes erudite works of non fiction so elegantly self indulgent they can be marketed as novels
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