Danube (Paperback)

Claudio Magris

Published by Vintage Publishing, 2009
ISBN 10: 1860468233 / ISBN 13: 9781860468230
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Language: English . Brand New Book. In this fascinating journey Claudio Magris, whose knowledge is encyclopaedic and whose curiosity limitless, guides his reader from the river s source in the Bavarian hills through Austro-Hungary and the Balkans to the Black Sea. Along the way he raises the ghosts that inhabit the houses and monuments - from Ovid and Marcus Aurelius to Kafka and Canetti - and in so doing sets his finger on the pulse of Central Europe, the vital crucible of a culture that draws on influences of East and West, of Christendom and Islam. Bookseller Inventory #

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Synopsis: 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 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.

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

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Bibliographic Details

Title: Danube (Paperback)
Publisher: Vintage Publishing
Publication Date: 2009
Binding: Paperback
Book Condition: New

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