Reviews

  • Roberto Calasso [is] the most inquisitively suggestive literary critic in the world today . . .

    Thomas McGonigle, Los Angeles Times
  • What a rare and special book this is, from its opening paragraph . . . But then what a rare writer is the prolific, post-Calvino Italian master Roberto Calasso-72-year-old scholar, translator, author of film scripts, radio and television adaptations, operatic librettos and seemingly most other viable prose forms in the late 20th and early 21st centuries . . . [La Folie Baudelaire is] an ideal introduction in English to one of the most urbane and readable of living masters.

    Jeff Simon, Buffalo News
  • Arresting observations on painters and paintings alike, aided and abetted by some discriminatingly chosen illustrations, beautifully reproduced . . . La Folie Baudelaire is bedazzling.

    Alex Danchev, The Guardian
  • It is a gorgeous, willful, and convincing re-staging of Baudelaire's style . . .

    Adam Thirlwell, The New Republic
  • Smoothing the way is the curiously conversational tone in which even the most arcane information is conveyed, as well as the underlying sense that, as the author piles detail upon detail, he's having a huge amount of fun. Calasso may identify with his hero, but there is no Baudelairean melancholy in his work. There's no show-off either-only a sincere delight, an innocent reveling in his own encyclopedic mind at play. This mood is catching, and if one adopts the right dreamy pace, one can commune with Calasso through a kind of imaginative osmosis.

    Andrea Lee, New Yorker
  • [Roberto Calasso is] an ambitious artist-critic, pushing the subject as far as he can, bent on penetrating the mind of both Baudelaire and his time. In the process, he delivers plenty of insight. . . Tough but rewarding, written with bold intelligence and panache.

    Kirkus
  • [Roberto Calasso is] a writer about the foundational myths and tales of human society who has no equal in the sparkle of his storytelling and the depth of his learning . . . His writing . . . these lost voices speak again, in magical, uncanny and something even sinister ways . . .

    Boyd Tonkin, The Independent