The most difficult book i read in 2018 roberto calassos the ruin of kasch i picked up at the donation table disbursing the personal library of a dead poet to his semblables around montreal in a dark bar before a reading. In the ruin of kasch roberto calasso throws down the entire gauntlet of the liberal arts traditionnot to celebrate it like bertrand russells famous history but rather to grasp the nettle of reason and judge its claims of self sufficiency in a manner that echoes de maistre benjamin schmitt strauss gray and the authors contemporary compatriot georgio agamben. The end of the sacrificial ritual though proves the downfall of the kingdom sacrifice calasso concludes is the cause of ruin but also the absence of sacrifice is the cause of ruin society itself is the ruin because it reverberates the sound of the world its incessant devouring whirr. Calasso unpacks the hidden meanings in this simple parable the story of the kingdom of kasch teaches how sacrifice is the cause of ruin and also how the absence of sacrifice is the cause of ruin this pair of simultaneous and contradictory truths points to a single and darker truth which rests in the stillness society is the ruin
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