Ryan Ruby is the author of The Zero and the One: A Novel (2017) and a book-length poem, Context Collapse. His fiction and criticism have appeared in Conjunctions, Dissent, n+1, The Paris Review Daily, and elsewhere. In 2019, he was the recipient of the Albert Einstein Fellowship from the Einstein Forum in Potsdam and was an Affiliated Fellow of the Institute for Cultural Inquiry in Berlin, where he lives. (August 2020)
Balthus was everything his brother, Pierre Klossowski, was not: handsome, wealthy, and internationally regarded as one of the most important artists of the twentieth century. He and Pierre were estranged for decades. Today, Balthus’s canvases hang on the walls of MoMA and the Metropolitan Museum of Art, while Pierre’s books struggle to stay in print. It is only now, seventy years after it was written, that his first novel, The Suspended Vocation, has finally found its way into English, providing the occasion to reassess his subterranean, but nevertheless profound, influence on post-war fiction and philosophy.