My Book Against Death

My Book Against Death

Elias Canetti

Elias Canetti, who always described himself as death’s mortal enemy, waited his whole life to write this book. He intended to write “with utter ruthlessness, or else all would be rendered worthless”. Now, almost twenty years after his death, the book he never managed to finish is finally being published: his last stand against death.

Elias Canetti’s literary estate, boasting more than ten thousand pages of material, features countless folders crammed with notes and cuttings for a book against death, a work he intended to stand alongside his magnum opus Crowds and Power (Masse und Macht). Canetti made several attempts to capture this lifelong obsession from all angles with his customary meticulous anthropological approach and sparkling aphoristic wit. He read poets and philosophers; he collected fairy tales, ancient myths and rites. He listened to the stories of survivors; he reflected on the myriad facets of dying and killing. His conclusion was: if we don’t want to surrender to death, we must not let it triumph over life.
The book is the quintessence of a lifelong confrontation, infused with Canetti’s distinctive sophistication in both thought and style. "Animals must make do with rebirth; resurrection is beyond them. ”This impressive work is complemented by a fascinating afterword by Peter von Matt.

Nobel Prize winner Elias Canetti (1905-1994) kept a written record of his life from 1981, from which he regularly published specific selections. Das Buch gegen den Tod follows guidelines laid down in his estate.


Foreign Sales

Italy (Adelphi), Netherlands (Arbeiderspers), Spain (Galaxia Gutenberg), Turkey (Sel), France (Albin Michel)

My Book Against Death

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