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Description - The Forty-Nine Steps by Roberto Calasso

In this first translation of his most important essays, Calasso discusses the essential thinkers of our time, providing a sweeping analysis of the current state of Western culture. "The Forty-nine Steps" refers to the Talmudic doctrine that there are forty-nine steps to meaning in every passage of the Torah. Employing this interpretative approach, Calasso offers a "secret history" of European literature and philosophy in the wake of Nietzsche, Marx and Freud. Calasso analyzes how figures ranging from Gustav Flaubert, Gottfried Benn, Karl Kraus and Martin Heidegger to Walter Benjamin, Franz Kafka, Bertolt Brecht and Theodor Adorno have contributed to, or been emblematic of, the current state of Western thought. This book's theme is the power of the fable - specifically, its persistence in art and literature, despite its exclusion from orthodox philosophy.

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Book Details

ISBN: 9780712697408
ISBN-10: 0712697403
Format: Paperback
(234mm x 156mm x 20mm)
Pages: 304
Imprint: Pimlico
Publisher: Vintage Publishing
Publish Date: 1-Aug-2002
Country of Publication: United Kingdom

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Author Biography - Roberto Calasso

Roberto Calasso was born in Florence, Italy, and now lives in Milan, where he is the publisher of Adelphi Edizioni. He is the author of L'impuro folle, about the famous Schreber case, and of a work in progress, of which three parts have appeared: The Ruin of Kasch, The Marriage of Cadmus and Harmony and Ka. His most recent book is Literature and the Gods. John Shepley is a freelance writer and translator. His translation of Pier Paolo Pasolini's Roman Night and Other Stories won the first Italo Calvino Translation Ward in 1987.

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