Danube: A Sentimental Journey from the Source to the Black Sea

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9780374134655: Danube: A Sentimental Journey from the Source to the Black Sea
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An Italian critic of culture recounts both his personal adventures and ancient lore and literature surrounding the Danube River and Middle European civilization, including references to Kafka, Freud, Marcus Aurelius, and Ovid

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Review:

This is a very Italian book, reminiscent of Italo Calvino and Roberto Calasso. Part history, part philosophy, part travelogue, this is literature in the richest, most amply rewarding sense. Writing with tremendous exuberance, Claudio Magris has produced a paean to what Hölderlin called "the river of melody"--the Danube, Europe's main artery, and the heart of that elusive but fascinating zone known as Mitteleuropa. Magris is certainly erudite, and not afraid of displaying his erudition, but he also has a fine sense of humor and an eye for the absurd. According to one eminent sedimentologist, he tells us, the source of the Danube is a leaky tap in a remote mountain farmhouse. And of course, the one color it isn't, ever, is blue. The Hungarians call it blond, apparently. "Muddy yellow" might be more accurate, says the author. His greatest passion, however, is people: poets, singers, murderers, emperors, Dracula, Kafka, Wittgenstein , Josef Mengele--all human life is here. And it makes doubly fascinating reading for having been written back in 1986, when brutes like Ceaucescu were still in power and the Iron Curtain was still in place, though beginning to tremble slightly in the wind of history. --Christopher Hart, Amazon.co.uk

From the Inside Flap:

In Danube the author sets his finger on the pulse of Central Europe, the crucible of a culture that draws on influences of East and West, of Christendom and Islam. In this journey through the history and culture of the Danube lands, Claudio Magris, whose knowledge is encyclopaedic and curiosity limitless, guides the reader along the course of the river, from its source in the Bavarian hills through Austro-Hungary and the Balkans to the Black Sea. In each town he raises the ghosts that inhabit the houses and monuments, from Ovid and Marcus Aurelius to Kafka and Canetti. The Danube is the great artery of that elusive territory known as Mitteleuropa, from which so many of the most fascinating people and ideas of European history have emerged, and Magris has produced a wonderful celebration of it in a book that effortlessly combines erudition and writing of the highest quality.

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Other Popular Editions of the Same Title

9780374522452: Danube: A Sentimental Journey from the Source to the Black Sea (FSG Classics)

Featured Edition

ISBN 10:  0374522456 ISBN 13:  9780374522452
Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2008
Softcover

9781784871314: Danube

Vintag..., 2016
Softcover

9781860468230: Danube (Panther)

Random..., 2001
Softcover

9781860466335: Danube: A Sentimental Journey from the Source to the Black Sea

Harvil..., 1999
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9781860464676: Danube - A Sentimental Journey from the Source to the Black Sea

The Ha..., 1997
Softcover

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