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Elias Canetti · Paperback Auto Da Fé is the story of Peter Kien, a distinguished, reclusive sinologist living in Germany between the wars. Auto-da-Fé, novel by Elias Canetti, published in in German as Die Blendung (“The Deception”). It was also published in English as The Tower of Babel. Complete summary of Elias Canetti’s Auto-da-Fé. eNotes plot summaries cover all the significant action of Auto-da-Fé.

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He shifts within the minds of his characters to omniscient provisions, to direct talk with the reader. She wants him to be educated in Vienna, and after the war they return there. Much that has been written about this book has rightfully focused on its theme of totalitarianism. Returning to the original German title, ‘blinding’ is a canettj in mystical Kabbalism for the ‘making and breaking of vessels.


He demands the verities of dis-reality to reflect the pliabilities, of our constantly constructed inner realities, the plumbers tape and glue used to anchor our anxious worlds together. Do you know what kind of cxnetti that is?

The problem is that while Beckett’s sparse prose has an elemental force behind it and still manages to conjure seriously rich imagery, Canetti’s prose lacks this driving force and conjuring ability.

What do you make of the last chapter? I have always regretted that Canetti wrote only the single novel. The realities they perceive, or rather define, are patently delusional, in that for each to achieve their desired state the world would have to cxnetti different canetti it is. Radiantly communicative, she had told her husband of a doctor there who had wanted her to elope with him. Life seeping in or out? A veritable panopticon of bizarre figures file past before the eyes of the reader: Her skirt was a part of her, as the mussel shell is a part of the mussel Gently Mad An Unreliable Reader.

‘Auto da Fé’ by Elias Canetti | Intermittencies of the Mind

I know this person well. This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. The three star rating is a compromise between the 1 and 2 star rating I was certain I would give this book until about page after which we are clearly in at least 4 star territory when I finally encountered some lyricism in Canetti’s prose, a likable charact If you are pages into suto novel, keep reading, it gets ahto, much better.

On the way home from the marriage ceremony, Kien, a virgin, has brief but intense fantasies about consummating the marriage, revealing his ignorance of sex as well as disturbing ideas about women misogyny is one of the most pervasive themes in the book, usually to the degradation and downfall of the characters, though not explicitly condemned by the narrative:. A person may be twelve foot tall, but if he doesn’t play chess, he is a fool.

Every thinking being knows those moments in which the traditional frontier set by science between the organic and the inorganic, seems artificial and outdated, like every frontier drawn by men. Refresh and try again. Twenty-three years I was a married man. Er, almost, but not quite! It is full of clouds – they are black and heavy. Kien ends up getting involved with a hunchbacked dwarf called Fischerle who is also intent on relieving Kien of his money which he has withdrawn from his bank account.

When I read his play, Die Befristetenmy general response was laughter, even though it dealt with the taboo of death and our relationship to it. Here no harm could come to him. He is sage and master of an art which only the initiated can fully perceive. Print Print this page Permalink https: Germany did not become a modern nation-state untiland the prior history of the various….

Peter is a sinologist one who studies China and he is greatly fixated and obsessed with his books up to the point that he is always afraid that they might go up in smoke so he hires Therese to dust and take care of them. Over it is the vault of the sky. If the line of reasoning for their marriage fails to convince, the story becomes an eliad written but unsatisfying construction.

So it is almost a miracle that he marries his housekeeper Therese, who promises to take care of Kien’s books. PS Can you please add a widget to your sidebar that lets me subscribe to your blog by email? I first read it 40 years ago, and I am in the process now of reading it again. On Bookes An Unreliable Reader. Please try again later. What happens if you believe blindly, and violently This is the world as we know it – crazy as can be! Fortunately he remains just this side of caricature which would be the death bell for this work, though there remains isolated incidents which do detract.

Thanks for telling us about the problem. He has his own personal library of 25, volumes, mostly on his specialist subject of Chinese Literature, and he even carries around a small portion of it in a suitcase wherever he goes. He is constantly prevailed upon to accept various academic posts, but is absorbed in his studies and shuns social and physical contacts. Jan 31, BlackOxford rated it really liked it Shelves: Peter articulates the general philosophy: Nothing is as it is. From the literature of the Middle Ages to the influence of foreign cultures: Kien takes the only route open to him and impersonates a stone statue.