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Macmillan Childrens Publishing Group
The Ruin of Kasch

The Ruin of Kasch

Roberto Calasso; A New Translation from the Italian by Richard Dixon

Farrar, Straus and Giroux

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A brilliant new translation of a classic work on violence and revolution as seen through mythology and art

The Ruin of Kasch
takes up two subjects—“the first is Talleyrand, and the second is everything else,” wrote Italo Calvino when the book first appeared in 1983. Hailed as one of those rare books that persuade us to see our entire civilization in a new light, its guide is the French statesman Charles-Maurice de Talleyrand, who knew the secrets of the ancien régime and all that came after, and was able to adapt the notion of “legitimacy” to the modern age. Roberto Calasso follows him through a vast gallery of scenes set immediately before and after the French Revolution, making occasional forays backward and forward in time, from Vedic India to the porticoes of the Palais-Royal and to the killing fields of Pol Pot, with appearances by Goethe and Marie Antoinette, Napoleon and Marx, Walter Benjamin and Chateaubriand. At the center stands the story of the ruin of Kasch, a legendary kingdom based on the ritual killing of the king and emblematic of the ruin of ancient and modern regimes.

Offered here in a new translation by Richard Dixon, The Ruin of Kasch is, as John Banville wrote, “a great fat jewel-box of a book, gleaming with obscure treasures.”

NOTE FOR LUCIEN


Mon cher,

Nearly a hundred and fifty years have passed since your meeting with that good man Gauthier, nearly two hundred since the storming of the Bastille, and I wish to give you some news. Followed by...

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Roberto Calasso; A New Translation from the Italian by Richard Dixon

Roberto Calasso is the publisher of Adelphi Edizioni and lives in Milan. The Ruin of Kasch is the first book in an ongoing series that includes The Marriage of Cadmus and Harmony, Ka, K., Tiepolo Pink, La Folie Baudelaire, and Ardor.

Richard Dixon lives and works in Italy. His translations include Ardor and The Art of the Publisher by Roberto Calasso, and The Prague Cemetery by Umberto Eco. He is one of the translators of FSG’s edition of Leopardi’s Zibaldone.

image of Roberto Calassoo
Giorgio Magister

Roberto Calasso

Farrar, Straus and Giroux

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