Taking as its focus the periods immediately before and after the French Revolution but making occasional sallies backward and forward in time, Roberto Calasso recounts, elucidates, and interprets the downfall of what Baudelaire was already calling 'the Modern'. The downfall came as a sequel to an earlier and opposite collapse: that of archaic societies which were regulated by the movements of the stars and the rituals of sacrifice. At the centre of the work stands the story of Kasch, a legendary African kingdom whose annihilation becomes emblematic of the ruin of the ancient and modern world.
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" The Ruin of Kasch takes up two subjects: the first is Talleyrand, and the second is everything else. And everything else includes all the things that have hapened in human history, from the beginning of civilisation until today... It is a book that loves to reveal itself as wandering and vagrant, guided only by fancy and by an insatiable curiosity, constructed of fragments, citations, digressions, anecdotes, and aphorisms - all so that it can be read with nearly continuous pleasure" (Italo Calvino)
"A work charged with intelligence and literary seduction... Profligate in its voices and conversations, this startling, puzzling, profound book yields no take-away thesis; but it lingers in the memory like the aroma of an ancient library" ( New York Times Book Review)
"This is a great, fat, jewel-box of a book, gleaming with obscure treasures" (John Banville)
"Unique, idiosyncratic and vaultingly ambitious... essentail reading" (Michael Dibdin Independent on Sunday)
"Scarcely have readers opened the book when they are not merely interested but fascinated - dazzled in the richest sense of the word...Here is a work that combines erudition, brilliance of style, and intellectual virtuosity to portray the modern era" (Francois Bott Le Monde)
'The Ruin of Kasch raises more complicated issues, more intelligently, than most historical works; it is keenly argued and seasoned with wit' - Frederick Raphael, Sunday Times
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Book Description Vintage, 1995. Paperback. Book Condition: Used; Good. Bookseller Inventory # mon0001563907
Book Description Vintage, 1995. Paperback. Book Condition: 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!. Bookseller Inventory # mon0001801048
Book Description Vintage. Paperback. Book Condition: Good. Book shows a small amount of wear to cover and binding. Some pages show signs of use. Bookseller Inventory # G0099576317I3N00
Book Description Vintage, 1995. Book Condition: Fair. This book has soft covers. Ex-library, With usual stamps and markings, In fair condition, suitable as a study copy. Bookseller Inventory # 3635296
Book Description Vintage 1995-06-01, 1995. Paperback. Book Condition: Very Good. All books are pre-owned and will have been read by someone else before you. They may well show signs of minor wear and tear. Please note, cover images are illustrative only, and the actual book cover and edition can vary. Bookseller Inventory # 9780099576310-21
Book Description Vintage, London, 1995, 1995. 20.0 x 13.0cms, 386pp, tanning paper / paperback This book examines the rise of the modern state and the origins of romantic nationalism, which has been harvested in Bosnia, Chechnya, and East Timor. It locates the transformation in the French Revolution, when a frivolous monarchy evaporated before a government that valued order, bureaucracy, and above all secrecy. Bookseller Inventory # 117267
Book Description Vintage, UK, 1995. Trade Paperback. Book Condition: Very Good. Wonderful novel. pp385. Unread, so it really is very good! Pages a bit browned. Size: 8vo - over 7¾" - 9¾" tall. Bookseller Inventory # 002461