Auto Da Fe (Elias Canetti)

Auto Da Fe (Elias Canetti) soon to be presented for sale on the really rather good BookLovers of Bath web site!

Published: London: Jonathan Cape, 1971, Hardback in dust wrapper.

From the cover: When first published here in 1946 Canettis Auto-da-fe (already famous on the Continent) was immediately recognized, in the words of one critic, as a disturbing masterpiece, a novel without precedent.

It is the story of a distinguished scholar, a prodigy of erudition, whose mind gives way. By slow degrees the author builds up those elements within Peter Kiens mind and in the restricted area of his personal relations that are to result in his downfall. On either side of him stand his illiterate and grasping housekeeper, Therese, who tricks him into marriage, and Benedikt Pfaff, the brutish concierge, typical raw material for Nazidom. Between them the victim is forced out into the underworld of the city, a purgatory where he has for a guide a chess-playing dwarf of evil propensities. Eventually restored to his home, he is visited by his brother, an eminent psychiatrist, who by one error of diagnosis precipitates the crisis.

To isolate any particular element of this remarkable novel is difficult because it has so many immense vitality, richness of imagination, insight, variety of incident, powerful characterization, and robust humour.

On the first appearance of Auto-da-fe the publishers committed themselves to the statement, Elias Canetti is a writer of a strongly individual genius, which may well prove to be an influential one. In re-issuing it in the present edition they take credit for their prescience. Canettis influence has been conspicuous and is continuous.Good+ in Good+ Dust Wrapper. Unlaminated dust wrapper a little edgeworn and faded, now protected in a removable mylar sleeve. Edges of the text block lightly spotted. Pages lightly age-tanned.

Black boards with Gilt titling to the Spine. 464 pages. 8¾” x 5½”.

Of course, if you don’t like this one, may I draw your attention to more books in my Fiction Author: C catalogue?

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