Canal March

Elias Canetti: the writer's profession

Ignacio Echevarría

Philologist, editor and critic Ignacio Echevarría reviews the biography and the work of the writer and thinker of Sephardic origin Elias Canetti (Ruse, Bulgaria, 1905–Zurich, 1994). The lecturer goes through Canetti's autobiography, which covers his formative and youthful years, his relationship with his mother and portrays the intellectual atmosphere of interwar Vienna, until he leaves this city at the age of 33. This multi-faceted author, who won the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1981, left behind a varied and meagre body of work –the novel Auto-da-Fé (1935), three plays, the extensive essay Crowds and Power (1960), two short books, one on travel and one on character, and a small number of essays and speeches– which are partly unfinished and include many aphorisms and loose notes. In addition, Echevarría examines the themes on which Canetti persevered throughout his career, such as resistance to death, the acoustics of words and mass movements.

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