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Literature and the Gods

by Calasso, Roberto A Parks, Tim

  • ISBN: 9780375411380
  • ISBN10: 0375411380

Literature and the Gods

by Calasso, Roberto A Parks, Tim

  • List Price: $22.00
  • Binding: Hardcover
  • Publisher: Alfred A. Knopf
  • Publish date: 03/01/2001
  • ISBN: 9780375411380
  • ISBN10: 0375411380
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Description: 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 he 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 Mallarme's death in 1898. But Calasso also discovers the divine in the work of Valery, Auden, Yeats, Montale, Borges, and Nabokov, and 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.

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