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17 December 1981
Auto da Fé 
by Elias Canetti, translated by C.V. Wedgwood.
Cape, 464 pp., £7.95, January 1982, 0 224 00568 5
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The Tongue Set Free: Remembrance of a European Childhood 
by Elias Canetti, translated by Joachim Neugroschel.
Continuum, 268 pp., $12.95, June 1979, 0 8164 9103 8
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The Human Province 
by Elias Canetti, translated by Joachim Neugroschel.
Continuum, 281 pp., $12.95, June 1978, 0 8164 9335 9
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Crowds and Power 
by Elias Canetti, translated by Carol Stewart.
Penguin, 575 pp., £2.95, October 1978, 0 14 003616 4
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Kafka’s Other Trial: The Letters to Felice 
by Elias Canetti, translated by Christopher Middleton.
Marion Boyars, 121 pp., £5.95, October 1976, 0 7145 1136 6
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The Voices of Marrakesh: A Record of a Visit 
by Elias Canetti, translated by J.A. Underwood.
Marion Boyars, 103 pp., £5.50, January 1978, 0 7145 2579 0
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The Conscience of Words 
by Elias Canetti, translated by Joachim Neugroschel.
Continuum, 246 pp., $12.95, May 1979, 0 8164 9334 0
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... Henry James writes of a very grand lady that she had ‘an air of keeping, at every moment, every advantage’. Paradoxically, the same would be true of the literary personality of EliasCanetti. Behind its approachable modesty, its avoidance of every publicity and image-making process, there is a loftiness, an assurance, a stance of absolute superiority. Indeed the modesty and the dignity ...

Serious Dr Sonne

Philip Purser

6 December 1990
The Play of the Eyes 
by Elias Canetti, translated by Ralph Manheim.
Deutsch, 329 pp., £14.95, August 1990, 0 233 98570 0
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Yellow Street 
by Veza Canetti, translated by Ian Mitchell.
Halban, 139 pp., £11.95, November 1990, 1 870015 36 3
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... At the beginning of the third volume of his autobiography, EliasCanetti is still in his twenties. He has been cooped up for a year in a bed-sitter on the outskirts of Vienna with only a print of the Isenheim altar as company, working on the grim novel that was eventually ...
3 July 1986
The Conscience of Words 
by Elias Canetti, translated by Joachim Neugroschel.
Deutsch, 166 pp., £8.95, April 1986, 9780233979007
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The Human Province 
by Elias Canetti, translated by Joachim Neugroschel.
Deutsch, 281 pp., £9.85, October 1985, 0 233 97837 2
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... In The Conscience of Words EliasCanetti has collected 15 mainly literary essays and addresses written between 1964 and 1975 (the German edition, first published in 1975, contained a slightly different selection). The Human Province (first ...
4 June 1981
Three Trapped Tigers 
by G. Cabrera Infante.
Picador, 487 pp., £2.95, August 1980, 0 330 26133 9
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... Cultural Attaché in Belgium, is sacked (no reason given). Soon afterwards he leaves Cuba for good. Jump-cut to the present. Cabrera Infante is now living in London, almost completely ignored, like EliasCanetti before him, by the capital’s lovers of literature: however, his acclaimed novel Three Trapped Tigers has at last been published in England; a mere 13 years after its completion. In ...

At Tate Britain

Julian Bell: ‘Migrations’

8 March 2012
... a sweetly daft 1963 bubble machine and to the catalogue an equally absurd extravaganza of name-dropping. (He meets everyone from James Dean, ‘one of the first people to encourage my art’, to EliasCanetti, ‘the writer of Auto da Fé, with whom I drank cups of coffee in the cafés of Hampstead, while discussing the merits of Chinese civilisation’.) Demos finds something facile in nomadic ...
1 October 1987
The Spell 
by Hermann Broch, translated by H.F. Broch de Rothermann.
Deutsch, 391 pp., £11.95, May 1987, 0 233 98049 0
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Hermann Broch: A Biography 
by Paul Michael Lützeler, translated by Janice Furness.
Quartet, 329 pp., £25, June 1987, 0 7043 2604 3
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... mind. He had been a prosperous industrialist, managing his father’s factory until he was 40 in 1927: then he became a professional writer, got divorced and was hard-up. I consulted his old friend, EliasCanetti, who tells me: ‘In 1934/5, when Broch was working on the first draft, he used to speak of it as the Bergroman.’ The mountain novel, I suppose, though some have translated it as ‘the ...
11 June 1992
The Heart of Europe: Essays on Literature and Ideology 
by J.P. Stern.
Blackwell, 415 pp., £45, April 1992, 0 631 15849 9
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... insists that fiction is one thing and philosophy another, and if the twain are encouraged to meet and merge, if the distinction between them is repealed, then discord will follow. He observes of EliasCanetti that in his earlier work, specifically Crowds and Power, his thought is uneasily located somewhere between extended metaphor and literal truth. In the manner of fiction, its arguments are ...
18 December 1986
Between the Woods and the Water 
by Patrick Leigh Fermor et al.
Murray, 248 pp., £13.95, October 1986, 0 7195 4264 2
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by Jonathan Raban.
Collins, 301 pp., £10.95, September 1986, 0 00 272119 8
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The Grand Tour 
by Hunter Davies.
Hamish Hamilton, 224 pp., £14.95, September 1986, 0 241 11907 3
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... Leigh Fermor’s memory isn’t wonderful – he has no trouble confounding Joyce’s Leopold Bloom with that character’s father, Rudolph Virag of Szombathely, and he has forgotten to restore to ‘Elias Cavetti’ his proper name, EliasCanetti. Minor details, indeed. As a song of the open road, Between the Woods and the Water is a lively, engaging book. On 1 April 1982, Jonathan Raban set out from ...

Tsk, Ukh, Hmmm

Michael Newton: Forgetting to remember to forget

23 February 2006
Echolalias: On the Forgetting of Language 
by Daniel Heller-Roazen.
Zone, 287 pp., £18.95, May 2005, 1 890951 49 8
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... English, but those other mothers, the native nurses and household servants, had left their mark on him. In Echolalias: On the Forgetting of Language, Daniel Heller-Roazen recounts a parallel story. EliasCanetti grew up in Bulgaria speaking Ladino, the ‘largely medieval Spanish of the Sephardim’. Bulgarian was the language used by the family servants. However, while Canetti, his family and ...

City of Blood

Peter Pulzer

9 November 1989
The Jews of Vienna in the Age of Franz Joseph 
by Robert Wistrich.
Oxford, 696 pp., £45, June 1989, 0 19 710070 8
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Vienna and the Jews, 1867-1938: A Cultural History 
by Steven Beller.
Cambridge, 271 pp., £27.50, August 1989, 0 521 35180 4
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The German-Jewish Economic Elite 1820-1935: A Socio-Cultural Profile 
by W.E. Mosse.
Oxford, 369 pp., £35, October 1989, 0 19 822990 9
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Decadence and Innovation: Austro-Hungarian Life and Art at the Turn of the Century 
edited by Robert Pynsent.
Weidenfeld, 258 pp., £25, June 1989, 0 297 79559 7
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The Torch in My Ear 
by Elias Canetti, translated by Joachim Neugroschel.
Deutsch, 372 pp., £13.95, August 1989, 0 233 98434 8
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From Vienna to Managua: Journey of a Psychoanalyst 
by Marie Langer, translated by Margaret Hooks.
Free Association, 261 pp., £27.50, July 1989, 1 85343 057 9
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... claimed. Much of Wistrich, Beller, Mosse and Pynsent is biographical, as cultural history is bound to be. They would be gratified by the retrospective confirmation of their theses in autobiographies. EliasCanetti, born in Bulgaria, was even less of Vienna than those who were Habsburg citizens. But when he arrived there at the age of 19 he soon acclimatised: ‘The young people I associated with hadn ...

Kafka’s Dog

P.N. Furbank

13 November 1997
The Treasure Chest 
by Johann Peter Hebel, translated by John Hibberd.
Libris/Penguin, 175 pp., £19.95, May 1995, 0 14 044639 7
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... his reputation firmly, and from then on he has never been short of distinguished admirers. Chekhov and Gogol loved his stories, Tolstoy knew some of them by heart, and Walter Benjamin, Heidegger and EliasCanetti have paid ardent tribute to them. The praise is well deserved. This Treasure Chest strikes me as quite a treasure; and the new edition, with its chaste green jacket and endpapers, spacious ...


Christopher Hitchens: The Almanach de Gotha

2 July 1998
... laid claim to Jane Austen and Emily Dickinson. Most wondrous of all, though, it has obviously now baptised Franz Joseph Maximilian Maria Antonius Ignatius Lamoral, ninth Prince von Thurn & Taxis. As EliasCanetti has it in ‘The King-Proclaimer’, the first part of his Earwitness: It is touching to see her with forgotten kings, she never forgets them, she retains even the worst has-beens among them ...


Eric Hobsbawm

8 April 1993
Jews and the German State: The Political History of a Minority, 1848-1933 
by Peter Pulzer.
Blackwell, 370 pp., £35, March 1992, 0 631 17282 3
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The Jews of Germany: A Historical Portrait 
by Ruth Gay.
Yale, 336 pp., £19.95, September 1992, 0 300 05155 7
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... of 1938 rather than give up Germany. Even the survivors’ tragedy was real. Only those who have experienced the force, the grandeur and beauty of that culture, which made the Bulgarian Jew EliasCanetti write in the middle of World War Two that ‘the language of my intellect will remain German,’ can fully realise what its loss meant. Only those whose surnames still record the Hessian, Swabian and ...
17 February 1983
The Second Life of Art: Selected Essays of Eugenio Montale 
translated by Jonathan Galassi.
Ecco, 354 pp., $17.50, October 1982, 0 912946 84 9
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Prime alla Scala 
by Eugenio Montale.
Mondadori (Milan), 522 pp., October 1981
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Eugenio Montale’s Poetry: A Dream in Reason’s Presence 
by Glauco Cambon.
Princeton, 274 pp., £16.80, January 1983, 0 691 06520 9
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... of literary criticism as such, and indeed one of the most interesting single collections of literary essays in modern times, but the earlier Auto da Fé of 1966 (Montale must have been unaware that EliasCanetti had given the English version of Die Blendung that same title) is its necessary complement, being concerned with the question of mass culture – a question made more vexing for Montale by ...

Baby Power

Marina Warner

6 July 1989
The Romantic Child: From Runge to Sendak 
by Robert Rosenblum.
Thames and Hudson, 64 pp., £5.95, February 1989, 0 500 55020 4
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Caldecott & Co: Notes on Books and Pictures 
by Maurice Sendak.
Reinhardt, 216 pp., £13.95, March 1989, 1 871061 06 7
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Dear Mili 
by Wilhelm Grimm, translated by Ralph Manheim and Maurice Sendak.
Viking Kestrel, £9.95, November 1988, 0 670 80168 2
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Grimms’ Bad Girls and Bold Boys: The Moral and Social Vision of the ‘Tales’ 
by Ruth Bottigheimer.
Yale, 211 pp., £8.95, April 1989, 0 300 04389 9
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The one who set out to study fear 
by Peter Redgrove.
Bloomsbury, 183 pp., £13.95, April 1989, 0 7475 0187 4
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... from her mother. She strips naked to walk through fire and cast spells in a scene that recalls present-day performances of Druidic rites – again a form of nativist revival, and highly dubious. EliasCanetti wrote: ‘Folk tales can teach us what we can expect from the world.’ Those who oppose fairy-tales’ pretensions to universal and timeless truth find in the stories a record of specific ...

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