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  • Published: 3 August 2021
  • ISBN: 9780241296752
  • Imprint: Penguin Press
  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 464
  • RRP: $22.99

The Celestial Hunter




An extraordinary tale of transformation from the renowned Italian writer, thinker and publisher

'When hunting began, it was not a man who chased an animal. It was a being that chased another being. No one could say with certainty who each of them were.'
Connecting Greek and Egyptian myth, the stories of poets, shamans and gods, Roberto Calasso takes us on a spellbinding voyage that traces the beginnings of our detachment from the animal world; from the landmark evolutionary moment in which humans became the hunter rather than the prey. Roaming through time and across cultures - from the Palaeolithic era to Turing's Machine - The Celestial Hunter delves into the crucible of all our stories: the source of human grief, guilt, resilience and redemption with which we have wrestled throughout history.

  • Published: 3 August 2021
  • ISBN: 9780241296752
  • Imprint: Penguin Press
  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 464
  • RRP: $22.99

About the author

Roberto Calasso

Born in Florence, Roberto Calasso lives in Milan, where he is publisher of Adelphi. He is the author of The Ruin of Kasch, The Marriage of Cadmus and Harmony, which was the winner of the Prix Veillon and the Prix du Meilleur Livre Etranger, Literature and the Gods, Ka and K.

Also by Roberto Calasso

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Praise for The Celestial Hunter

A spellbinding modern magus . . . he writes like a poet, not a professor, in glinting, enigmatic nuggets of narrative. At a moment when atavistic kinds of peril, awe and terror seem close at hand, it feels no great stretch to share Calasso's core belief that "the gods always return"

Boyd Tonkin, Financial Times

Beguiling, captivating, vital ... Informed by myth, this damning exploration of man's detachment from the animal world is ninth in a staggeringly learned series

Stuart Jeffries, Guardian

The Celestial Hunter is an "initiation through the book", speculative but capable of changing how you see things

Dominic Green, Spectator

Calasso is especially good at describing the characters of myth and legend with a novelist's omniscient authority ... leaves you feeling not out of your depth, but smarter and better read

A. E. Stallings, New York Times

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