Close Notification

Your cart does not contain any items

The Unnamable Present

Roberto Calasso



In stock
Ready to ship


21 July 2020
A concise, yet wide-ranging inquiry into the roots of modernity and the turmoil of the present day.

Tourists, terrorists, secularists, hackers, fundamentalists, transhumanists, algorithmicians- in this book Roberto Calasso considers the tribes that inhabit and inform the world today. A world that feels more elusive than ever before.

Yet once contrasted with the period between 1933 and 1945, when the world made a partially successful attempt at self-annihilation, the new millennium begins to take on an unprecedented form. What emerges is something illusory, ever-shifting and occasionally murderous- the unnamable present.

This book, the ninth part of a work in progress, is a meditation on the obscure and ubiquitous process of transformation happening in societies today, where distant echoes of Auden's The Age of Anxiety give way to something altogether more unsettling.
Imprint:   Penguin
Country of Publication:   United Kingdom
Dimensions:   Height: 198mm,  Width: 129mm,  Spine: 12mm
Weight:   157g
ISBN:   9780141988016
ISBN 10:   0141988010
Pages:   208
Publication Date:  
Audience:   General/trade ,  College/higher education ,  Professional and scholarly ,  ELT Advanced ,  Primary
Format:   Paperback
Publisher's Status:   Active

Roberto Calasso is the author of many books including the international bestseller The Marriage of Cadmus and Harmony and The Ruin of Kasch, both parts of a work in progress of which The Unnamable Present is part nine.

Reviews for The Unnamable Present

Surprising, illuminating . . . one of the many pleasures of reading Calasso is to follow the bumper-car ride of his thinking, as he caroms off this and that totemic figure dotted about the intellectual fairground * The New York Times Review of Books * The ninth in Mr. Calasso's kaleidoscopic series of investigations into the spiritual biography of the secular West . . . the two long essays in The Unnamable Present examine the effects of novel and often dangerous mythologies-democracy, nationalism, Darwinism, race theory- in 20th-century Europe . . . he handles the events of the past with the reverence of a priest, rather than the dispassion of a historian. Material facts are the tangible aspect of hidden truths -- Dominic Green * The Wall Street Journal * A public intellectual in the great European tradition, whose new book attempts to define the era we're currently living through * Irish Times * I love Roberto Calasso's writing: it's rigorous, elusive, and expansive. The Unnamable Present continues his austere, zigzagging history of the world, but the difference is that now he's examining the supermodern - and this shift would I guess be a moment for pure celebration, were his conclusions not so inescapable and so terrifying Calasso's erudition is dazzling . . . his assertions come in short, verbless sentences, darting from historical moment to historical moment, alighting on a person, a place, a topic, before moving briskly on * Times Literary Supplement * This slim but wide-ranging philosophical inquiry extends the Italian author's series on the roots of modernity, with particular attention to moral relativism * The New York Times *

See Also