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Canetti, Elias (Translated by C. V. Wedgwood) . THE VOICES OF MARRAKESH: A RECORD OF A VISIT. New York City, NY: Continuum/Seabury Press, 1978. Hardcover. First Edition/First Printing. 105 pages. Fine/Fine.

The author's ground-breaking account on subject. One of Elias Canetti's most accessible and beautifully written books. The first appearance of the title in English and in the United States. Precedes and should not be confused with all other subsequent editions, of which there are several. Published in a small and limited first print run as a hardcover original only. The First Edition is now scarce. Presents Elias Canetti's "Die Stimmen von Marrakesch" in a felicitous English translation. A travelogue that emphasizes what one hears (the trustworthy ear-as-witness, as ever, for Canetti) rather than what one sees (the duplicitous eye). The writer of "Auto-da-Fe" (1935), a great comic novel that, unsurprisingly, isn't recognized as such (because of its pre-Philip Roth misogyny), and "Crowds And Power" (1960), his anti-Freudian and anti-Marxist masterpiece, relaxes and decides to enjoy himself a bit in Marrakesh (it's his shortest book). Made up of vignettes strung loosely together by his "voices" theme, it is what the travel book must have been like if Kafka wrote one. It is also a singular literary achievement that anticipates peripatetic fellow Nobel Laureate V. S. Naipaul. For both committed writers, to travel is to write about the trip (just as it means to take photographs for most people). There is a crucial difference, however, in both tone and substance: For Canetti, to travel is finally, to confront one's own reality, including death, his lifelong nemesis, through a deceptively exotic culture. For Naipaul, to travel is to confront The Unassimilable Other, which he nevertheless spent his whole life trying to understand. The basis of the sumptuous Artist Book by Arion Press, which comes with an original portrait-etching of Canetti by William T. Wiley and vintage photographs of Marrakesh by Karl Bissinger. Production values aside, it would have been a good idea to include a CD recording of the sounds of Marrakesh as well as a reading of the text itself (a Canetti recording of "The Human Province" in the original German won the German Recording Prize). An absolute "must-have" title for Elias Canetti collectors. This title is a great collection. This is one of few copies of the 1978 First Hardcover Edition/First Printing (American) still available online and is in especially condition: Clean, crisp, and bright, a pristine beauty. It is, quite simply, the single most beautiful copy we have ever seen. Please note: The publisher shut down shortly after publication so copies of the book have always been hard to find in collectible condition. Copies available online have very serious flaws (fading on the DJ spine is endemic), are subsequent editions, or are remainder-marked. This is surely an accessible and lovely alternative. A rare copy thus. Winner of the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1981. One of the greatest writers of the 20th century. A fine copy. (SEE ALSO OTHER ELIAS CANETTI TITLES IN OUR CATALOG). $80.00

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