A Companion to the Works of Elias Canetti (Studies in German Literature Linguistics and Culture)

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9781571132345: A Companion to the Works of Elias Canetti (Studies in German Literature Linguistics and Culture)

The Bulgarian-born scholar and author Elias Canetti (1905-1994) was one of the most astute witnesses and analysts of the mass movements and wars of the first half of the twentieth century. Born a Sephardic Jew and raised in the Bulgarian and Ladino languages, he chose to write in German, identifying as he did with European literary and intellectual traditions. He was awarded the 1981 Nobel Prize in Literature for his oeuvre, which includes dramas, essays, diaries, aphorisms, the novel Die Blendung (Auto-da-Fé), a three-volume autobiography, and the extensive interdisciplinary treatise Masse und Macht (Crowds and Power). These writings, most notably Masse und Macht, express Canetti's thought-provoking ideas on culture and the human psyche with special focus on the phenomena of power, conflict, and survival. Canetti's masterful prose, his linguistic innovations, his brilliant satires and conceits continue to fascinate scholars and general readers alike, and his intellectually challenging, genre-bending writings merge theory and literature, essay and diary entry. His philosophical and anthropological works are profoundly influenced by literature, while his literary texts are informed by his theory. The Companion to the Works of Elias Canetti contains original essays by renowned international scholars working at the forefront of Canetti criticism. They examine the writings of this extraordinary writer and thinker in the context of pre- and post-fascist Europe, providing a comprehensive scholarly introduction to Canetti. The essays include detailed interpretations of individual texts as well as comprehensive thematic and theoretical studies devoted to Canetti's work as part of the Western philosophical and critical tradition.

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About the Author:

Dagmar C. G. Lorenz is professor of Germanic Studies at the University of Illinois-Chicago and focuses in her research on Austrian and German Jewish literature and culture and Holocaust studies, with an emphasis on history and social thought, and aesthetics.

Review:

Overall, the book presents an image of Canetti's work that is reflective of his own style, in part by resisting a simple chronological organization. ... A valuable resource for those seeking an introduction to the works of Elias Canetti. --German Quarterly

The Companion faithfully reflects the present state of scholarship... The image of the writer that emerges from this volume is agreeably open and multi-faceted. --Modern Language Review

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