Literature and the Gods

By Roberto Calasso
(Vintage, Paperback, 9780375725432, 224pp.)

Publication Date: June 4, 2002

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Description
Brilliant, inspired, and gloriously erudite, Literature and the Gods is the culmination of Roberto Calasso's lifelong study of the gods in the human imagination. By uncovering the divine whisper that lies behind the best poetry and prose from across the centuries, Calasso gives us a renewed sense of the mystery and enchantment of great literature.
From the banishment of the classical divinities during the Age of Reason to their emancipation by the Romantics and their place in the literature of our own time, the history of the gods can also be read as a ciphered and splendid history of literary inspiration. Rewriting that story, Calasso carves out a sacred space for literature where the presence of the gods is discernible. His inquiry into the nature of "absolute literature" transports us to the realms of Dionysus and Orpheus, Baudelaire and Mallarme, and prompts a lucid and impassioned defense of poetic form, even when apparently severed from any social function. Lyrical and assured, Literature and the Gods""is an intensely engaging work of literary affirmation that deserves to be read alongside the masterpieces it celebrates.



About the Author
Roberto Calasso is also the author of "The Forty-Nine Steps" and "Literature and the Gods." He lives in Milan and is the publisher of Adelphi.
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