Though he died in the last decade of the twentieth century, the satirist, social thinker, memoirist, and dramatist Elias Canetti lives on into the present. Testifying to the author’s undeniable cultural “afterlife,” the essays gathered together here represent a wide swath of the latest Canetti scholarship. Contributors examine Canetti’s Jewish identity; the Marxist politics of his youth; his influence on writers as diverse as Bachmann, Jelinek, and Sebald; the undiscovered “poetry” of his literary testament (Nachlass); his status as a self-cancelling satirist; and his complex and sometimes ambivalent citation of Chinese and French cultural icons. In addition, this volume presents a treatment of Canetti as philosopher; as contributor to the great debate on the genesis of violence; as a chronicler of the WWII exile experience; as well as a personal reminiscence by one of the great Canetti scholars of our time, Gerald Stieg. The Worlds of Elias Canetti challenges conventional wisdom about this Nobel laureate and opens up new areas to scholarly investigation.
“The Worlds of Elias Canetti convenes diverse disciplinary perspectives on one of the most enigmatic and ambidextrous authors of the twentieth century. An internationally renowned team of scholars places Canetti’s social thought and literary oeuvre within intriguing new contexts, highlighting as yet underexplored connections within areas such as philosophy, Jewish Studies, cultural anthropology, literary intertextuality, and beyond. Compellingly, this volume introduces us to a Canetti we have not yet known, and one who equally belongs to the twenty-first century. In its scope and originality, The Worlds of Elias Canetti sets a new standard—and not just for Canetti scholarship.”
Jochen Vogt, Professor of German Literature, University of Essen