In the course of his work, Peter von Matt has frequently addressed the literary œuvre of Elias Canetti. On the occasion of von Matt's 70th birthday, this volume brings together his interpretations, appraisals, commemorative addresses and personal memories. They give comprehensive insight into Canetti's work, provide a three-dimensional portrait of Canetti the man, and offer at the same time, a fascinating reading course.
The book begins in 1969 with an observation of Canetti's response to Kafka. Peter von Matt, himself a celebrated literary scholar, has accompanied the work of Elias Canetti for decades, with changing emphasis and an unquenchable curiosity. His analyses focus on the leitmotifs in Canetti's writings as well as on the details which reveal key elements of Canetti's literary architecture. Numerous facets become visible which nevertheless result in a homogeneous picture: the unconventional aphorist, the "thinker with might and main", the private individual, charming in his personal relationships yet apodictic in his literary judgement. Von Matt's readings and recollections paint a portrait both illuminating and intimate.
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