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- DescriptionIn books lauded as brilliant, exhilarating and profound, Roberto Calasso has revealed the unexpected intersections of ancient and modern through topics ranging from Greek and Indian mythology to what a legendary African kingdom can tell us about the French Revolution. In this first translation of his most important essays, Calasso brings his powerful intellect and elegant prose style to bear on the essential thinkers of our time, providing a sweeping analysis of the current state of Western culture. 'Forty-nine steps' refers to the Talmudic doctrine that there are forty-nine steps to meaning in every passage of the Torah. Employing this interpretative approach, Calasso offers a 'secret history' of European literature and philosophy in the wake of Nietzsche, Marx and Freud. Calasso analyses how figures ranging from Gustav Flaubert, Gottfried Benn, Karl Kraus and Martin Heidegger to Walter Benjamin, Franz Kafka, Bertolt Brecht and Theodor Ador have contributed to, or been emblematic of, the current state of Western thought. This book's theme, writ large, is the power of the fable - specifically, its persistence in art and literature despite its exclusion from orthodox philosophy. In its breadth and the nature of its concerns, The Forty-nine Steps is a philosophical and literary twin to the widely praised Marriage of Cadmus and Harmony. Combining erudition with engaging prose and original insights, Calasso contributes a daring new interpretation of some of the most challenging writers of the past 150 years.
- Author BiographyRoberto Calasso was born in Florence, Italy, and now lives in Milan, where he is the publisher of Adelphi Edizioni. He is the author of L'impuro folle, about the famous Schreber case, and of a work in progress, of which three parts have appeared: The Ruin of Kasch, The Marriage of Cadmus and Harmony and Ka. His most recent book is Literature and the Gods. John Shepley is a freelance writer and translator. His translation of Pier Paolo Pasolini's Roman Night and Other Stories won the first Italo Calvino Translation Ward in 1987.
- Author(s)Roberto Calasso
- PublisherVintage Publishing
- Date of Publication01/08/2002
- Place of PublicationLondon
- Country of PublicationUnited Kingdom
- Weight406 g
- Width156 mm
- Height234 mm
- Spine20 mm
- Translated byJohn Shepley
- Format DetailsTrade paperback (UK)
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