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Lead book review

Roberto Calasso’s retelling of the Hebrew Bible is both exasperating and beguiling

Robert Alter is both exasperated and beguiled by Roberto Calasso’s intellectual potpourri

18 December 2021

9:00 AM

18 December 2021

9:00 AM

The Book of All Books Roberto Calasso, translated by Tim Parks

Penguin, pp.450, 25

The Italian writer Roberto Calasso, who died in July at the age of 80, was an anomalous and fascinating figure on the international literary scene. In his early twenties he began working for the prestigious publishers Adelfi Edizioni and stayed with them his whole life, eventually becoming editorial director and, when the firm was threatened with a takeover, purchasing it.

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