The soul of Adelphi, author of ‘The Ruin of Kash’, has died in Milan after a life dedicated to literature

The writer and editor Roberto Calasso (Florence, 1941 – Milan, 2021), one of the great names in European culture, the soul of Adelphi, has died at the age of 80 in Milan. His work, unclassifiable, encyclopedic, of an astonishing vastness and depth, with a knowledge of literature and mythographies that border on the superhuman – he learned Sanskrit by himself to deepen the thought of the great sacred texts coined in India, from the Rigveda al Mahabharata -, and at the same time endowed with rare poetic height, it is expressed especially in eight books that, like the bricks of the Vedic fire altar support a glorious and incandescent offering to the intelligence, among which are The Ruin of Kash and weddings of Kadmo and Harmonía, both in Anagrama.

A man capable of showing the specular relationship between Vedic India and archaic Greece, of pointing out the similarities between Helen of Troy and the Tara of the Veda (“The brahmin’s wife is terrible if she is kidnapped”), of pointing without shaking her the pulse Islamic terrorists exercise r devotio omana, to trace the relationship between the carrion of Baudelaire and the fourth kanda of the Satapatha Brahmana , saying so many beautiful things about the indelible roots of our culture, Calasso transited trails Dumézil, Mauss, Robert Graves, Borges or old Frazer.

“I don’t care how I am classified. It seems like a waste of time to me. Nothing excludes the other, for me that problem does not exist, it would be absurd to consider that there is only one direction. I see it as united narratives and thoughts, forms that cross historical worlds. Literature understands everything. The important thing is quality ”, he said in an interview with EL PAÍS after receiving the Formentor award in 2016 about his dual role as editor and writer and his narrative and essay work.

 

Amelia Warner– After graduating from NYU with a master's degree in history, She was also a columnist for many local newspapers. Amelia Warner mostly covers Entertainment topics, but at times loves to write about movie reviews as well.

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