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The Unnamable Present

Roberto Calasso; Translated from the Italian by Richard Dixon

Picador

The Unnamable Present Download image

ISBN10: 1250251214
ISBN13: 9781250251213

Trade Paperback

208 Pages

$17.00

CA$23.00

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The ninth part of Roberto Calasso’s work in progress, The Unnamable Present, is closely connected with themes of the first book, The Ruin of Kasch (recently reissued by FSG in a new translation). But while Kasch is an enlightened exploration of modernity, The Unnamable Present propels us into the twenty first century.

Tourists, terrorists, secularists, fundamentalists, hackers, transhumanists, algorithmicians: these are all tribes that inhabit the unnamable present and act on its nervous system. This is a world that seems to have no living past, but was foreshadowed in the period between 1933 and 1945, when everything appeared bent on self-annihilation. The Unnamable Present is a meditation on the obscure and ubiquitous process of transformation happening today in all societies, which makes so many previous names either inadequate or misleading or a parody of what they used to mean.

Translated with sensitivity by Calasso’s longtime translator, Richard Dixon, The Unnamable Present is a strikingly original and provocative vision of our times, from the writer The Paris Review called “a literary institution of one.”

Reviews

Praise for The Unnamable Present

"[A] tremendous achievement . . . in Mr. Calasso’s kaleidoscopic series of investigations into the spiritual biography of the secular West . . . Mr. Calasso is not a lecturer or a literalist. He does not write straightforwardly, but shuffles between ideas and episodes, treating all thought as contemporaneous. He handles the events of the past with the reverence of a priest, rather than the dispassion of a historian."—Dominic Green, The Wall Street Journal

"Deeply learned . . . a tour de force and among the most memorable things Calasso has written over the course of his series . . . Admirers of contemporary European literature and continental philosophy will find this engaging and provocative."—Kirkus Reviews

Reviews from Goodreads

BOOK EXCERPTS

Read an Excerpt

I


TOURISTS AND TERRORISTS


For we who are living at this moment, the most exact and most acute sensation is one of not knowing where we are treading from day to day. The ground is brittle, lines blur, materials fray, prospects...

About the author

Roberto Calasso; Translated from the Italian by Richard Dixon

Roberto Calasso is the publisher of Adelphi Edizioni and lives in Milan. The Unnamable Present is the ninth book in an ongoing series that includes The Ruin of Kasch, 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.

Giorgio Magister

Roberto Calasso

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