These notes, dating from the last years of his life, complete Elias Canetti's work. Collected by Canetti himself in the winter of 1993 from the hand-written manuscripts and edited in the typeset version, these are the last thoughts of the great lone wolf of literature: "The nonconformists are the salt of the earth, the colour of life. They are their own tragedy, but our fortune."
The rigorous criticism found in these these notes does not exempt Canetti's own work: "If the misery does not have a cause, it disguises itself as disappointment; disappointment in a life that, seemingly, was not lived. But in fact it was more than one life, it was a life for many, there was fear for many, too, expectation for many. And, less frequently: success. Nor was splendour entirely absent from this life; with her, whose breath you have held, you went to Stockholm and, among the women of the celebrated, she was the most beautiful. If there has been no splendour since, it was you who wanted it that way, who rejected it and reversed your pride into its opposite."
This book will be read as the legacy of a man at home in many worlds: in the myths and literatures of numerous cultures, but also in the present which he analyzes, challenges and condemns with severity and compassion. "Was man worthy of being invented? Was there no other way to ruin the Earth?"
Elias Canetti's Aufzeichnungen, begun in 1942 and now completed, belong to the lasting, inexhaustible documents of this century.
Notes - 1992 -1993
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