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Literature and the Gods

Roberto Calasso

186 ratings by Goodreads
ISBN 10: 0375411380 / ISBN 13: 9780375411380
Published by Knopf, 2001
Used Condition: Used: Good Hardcover
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Bibliographic Details

Title: Literature and the Gods

Publisher: Knopf

Publication Date: 2001

Binding: Hardcover

Book Condition:Used: Good

About this title

Synopsis:

From the internationally acclaimed author of The Marriage of Cadmus and Harmony and Ka, a stunning summation of his lifelong study of the role of the gods in the human imagination. Based on the prestigious Weidenfeld Lectures Roberto Calasso gave at Oxford in May 2000, Literature and the Gods traces the return of pagan divinities to Western literature from their first reappearance at the beginning of the modern era to their place in the literature of our own time.

Calasso sets out to uncover the divine— godly or otherwise—in specific texts, and finds it in what he calls "absolute literature." With its roots in early Vedic verse, absolute literature reached the apex of its expression during the period beginning with the German Romantics in 1798 and ending with Mallarmé's death in 1898. But Calasso also discovers the divine in the work of Valéry, Auden, Yeats, Montale, Borges, and Nabokov, and he reveals how these writers, in their own very particular ways, were articulating the same unnameable thing. Finally, he delineates the timeless, ever-mysterious laws that surround the creative act itself.

With Literature and the Gods, Roberto Calasso profoundly deepens our understanding of our literary tradition. It is, itself, a literary masterpiece.

From the Back Cover:

"Roberto Calasso's survey of the renewed interest in myth demonstrates how decisive the gods' influence was on modern literature. Calasso is not only immensely learned; he is one of the most original thinkers and writers we have today." —Charles Simic

“Calasso can take your breath away.” –The New Yorker

“[A] riveting work of cultural history. . . . Learned, eloquent, and artful.” –The Weekly Standard

“Luminescent. . . . Stimulating. . . . Seduce[s] a reader in search of ideas that entertain as well as edify.” –Los Angeles Times Book Review

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