Tag Archives: Roberto Calasso

The Dispute Between Mind and Speech

Relations between Mind and Speech were always difficult and fraught. They sometimes clashed like two warriors-or two lovers. Each wished to do better than the other. Mind said: ‘I am surely better than you, for you say nothing that I … Continue reading

Posted in History, Literature in Translation | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

The Flayed Man

The Book of Leviticus, the third book of the Hebrew bible, instructs the priesthood on the sacrifice that must precede the slaughter of animals for food. Roberto Calasso writes in Ardor of Yājñavalkya’s comparable philosophy in the Vedic Shatapatha Brahmana, but … Continue reading

Posted in History, Literature in Translation | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Some Well-Intentioned Reading Ideas for 2015 (updated)

These are not reading resolutions. Writers promising literary gifts lead me astray too easily for these ideas to be fixed in any way. This year I read widely covering fifty or so writers, concentrating my reading more deeply only twice on … Continue reading

Posted in Personals, The Joy of Lists | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments

A Year of Reading: 2013

It was an exceptional year of reading that began with Benoît Peeters’ prodigious Derrida biography. I also finally got around to Knowlson’s respectful but no less captivating Beckett biography. 2013 was a year for new encounters: notably Jane Bennett, Pierre Hadot and … Continue reading

Posted in Annual Reviews, The Joy of Lists | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Hourglass Sand of Rub’ al Khali

There is but one word in Arabic for sand رمل (raml). The sand in the Rub’ al Khali or Empty Quarter could be defined with greater precision as raml as-sa’ah ramliyyah or hourglass sand. I have spent the last week photographing sand. … Continue reading

Posted in Personals, Travel | Tagged , , , | 19 Comments

A Garland of Plagiarism.

The entire history of literature-a secret history that no one will ever be able to write except in part, because authors are too skilful at obscuring themselves-can be seen as a sinuous garland of plagiarism. By this I do not … Continue reading

Quote | Posted on by | Tagged , , , , , | 2 Comments

Kafka: A Bibliography of Criticism (updated 24 Aug 2011)

Type “Kafka” into Google and you can choose from more than 14,000,000 English language sites-twice as many as for James Joyce. In Kafka: The Decisive Years Reiner Stach writes of ‘ well worn “complete interpretations” from the 1950s and 1960s, … Continue reading

Posted in The Joy of Lists | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 13 Comments