The Book Against Death (Paperback)
  • The Book Against Death (Paperback)
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The Book Against Death (Paperback)

(author), (translator), (author of preface)
£12.99
Paperback 352 Pages
Published: 06/06/2024
  • 10+ in stock

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In 1937, Elias Canetti began collecting notes for the project that ‘by definition, he could never live to complete’, as translator Peter Filkins writes in his afterword. The Book Against Death is the work of a lifetime: a collection of Canetti’s aphorisms, diatribes, musings and commentaries on and against death – published in English for the first time since his death in 1994 – interspersed with material from philosophers and writers including Goethe, Walter Benjamin and Robert Walser. This major work by the 1981 Nobel Prize in Literature laureate is a disarming and often darkly comic reckoning with the inevitability of death and with its politicization, evoking despair at the loss of loved ones and the impossibility of facing one’s own death, while fiercely protesting the mass deaths incurred during war and the willingness of the despot to wield death as power. Infused with fervour and vitality, The Book Against Death ultimately forms a moving affirmation of the value of life itself.

Publisher: Fitzcarraldo Editions
ISBN: 9781804270899
Number of pages: 352
Dimensions: 197 x 121 mm


MEDIA REVIEWS

‘Rarely has anyone been so at home in the mind, with so little ambivalence. Far from being a source of complacency, this attitude is Canetti’s great strength.... [He] is someone who has felt in a profound way the responsibility of words.... His work eloquently and nobly defends tension, exertion, moral and amoral seriousness.’ — Susan Sontag, New York Review of Books

‘Canetti invites – indeed, compels – judgement. His exacting presence honours literature.’ — George Steiner, New Yorker

‘Canetti led his life without compromise, fear, or guilt, and [reading him is] like discovering, without warning, a complex and satisfying work of art.’ — David Denby, New Yorker

‘One of our great imaginers and solitary men of genius.’ — Iris Murdoch

‘The erudition is genuinely awe-inspiring.’ — Salman Rushdie

‘Before there was the mysterious W. G. Sebald, there was the even more mysterious Elias Canetti’ — Clive James, New York Times

‘By virtue of his abundant wit and stylistic pithiness, Canetti stands out as one of the foremost aphorists of our time, a man who, in his phrasing of life’s ironies, is sometimes reminiscent of great predecessors like La Bruyère and Lichtenberg.’ — Swedish Academy, Nobel Prize in Literature 1981

‘This heterogeneous collage of vignettes, literary theory and personal musings against the notion of dying, from the Nobel Prize-winning author of Auto-da-Fé (1947), is stitched together by a humorous, analytically sharp tone, with a healthy dose of anger and despair.’ — Ivana Cholakova, Frieze

‘The power of Canetti’s method, in its flexibility and its range, achieves that rarest of contemporary feelings: a clear and terrible vision of human inadequacy which itself does not harden into contempt and spite.... the most important literary expression, in the last forty years, of the processes of delusion.’ — Raymond Williams (praise for Auto da Fé)

‘One of the few undoubted masterpieces of our time.’ — John Davenport (praise for Auto da Fé)

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