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It would’ve been Elias Canetti’s 100th birthday recently and thus there’ve been quite a few reports in the media about him. Just reading his biography is impressive and surprising. Seeing his name, his family being from Bulgaria, and that he died as a British citizen in Zürick at least makes it seem unlikely that he was a German writing author. But he was, as he lived in Vienna as well for a long time and even studied and graduated there… in chemistry, even geting a PhD in the 1920s and ended up getting a Nobel prize for literature in 1981.
As luck has it, I recently finished reading his thin volume Die Stimmen von Marrakesch, a ‘travelogue’. While all the recent newspaper articles suggested that his main obsession was hating death, this is quite a different book. There are notes of fourteen different episodes which are (very) loosely joined. They’re full of simple descriptions, occasional talking, observations and reflections while trying to grasp Marrakesh and the variety of people and culture he sees there. While apparently not being a typical work for him, I enjoyed reading it.
Now I’m not sure whether I should try one of his proper novels… and if so, which one.
Bookmark: 11-12-2001 Railway from Genova p.za principe to Massa centro on my way to visit my friend Rita on a holiday detour while moving from the UK back to Germany.
I would suggest “Die Blendung”. Read the second user comment for a spot on description.
Thanks. I’ll have a look at that.
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