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Canetti, Elias (Translated by Michael Hofmann) . PARTY IN THE BLITZ: THE ENGLISH YEARS. New York City, NY: New Directions, 2005. Hardcover. First Edition/First Printing. 250 pages. Fine/Fine.

The author's fourth memoir, published posthumously. The first appearance of the title in English and in the United States. Precedes and should not be confused with all other subsequent editions. Published in a small and limited first print run as a hardcover original only. The First Edition is now scarce. Presents Elias Canetti's "Party im Blitz: Die englischen Jahre" in a felicitous English translation. The British Coda, written in the form of individual sketches, to his stupendous memoir-trilogy: "The Tongue Set Free", "The Torch In My Ear", and "The Play of The Eyes". Bitter and therefore thoroughly riveting, Elias Canetti, a lifelong misanthrope and misogynist (there are subtle nuances between the two hatreds, which are really disappointments in Canetti's case), resented being exiled to a country where no one knew him as the superlative equal of Hermann Broch and Robert Musil let alone as the "sui generis" writer who saw himself as modern German literature's savior-figure. He was not about to let his resentments go unpunished and undocumented, and wrote this memoir in his last years (after he finally won the Nobel Prize and became world-famous) : "He waited half a century to confront these memories, perhaps because 'in order to be truthful, I should have to track down every needless humiliation I was offered in England, and relive it as the torture it was'. Dissects that torture with unrestrained acerbity, recounting the ordeal of being in a new country where not a soul knew his writing. But not one to be ignored, 'the godmonster of Hempstead' (as John Bayley dubbed Canetti) soon knew everyone, and everyone knew him. Enoch Powell, Bertrand Russell, Iris Murdoch, Empson, Wittgenstein, Kokoschka, Kathleen Raine, Henry Moore, Ralph Vaughan Williams: Canetti knew them all, and he mercilessly rakes some of them over the coals" (Publisher's blurb). He especially detested T. S. Eliot, truthfully and unforgettably describing the rabid anti-Semite as a fraud who desperately wanted to be an Englishman because he was otherwise born in St. Louis, Missouri. Eliot wrote poetry so obscure and pretentious that it required footnotes (which Eliot himself helpfully supplied), "thin-lipped, cold-hearted, prematurely old". His hatred of Dame Iris (who worshipped him and dedicated her novel, "The Enchanter", to him) is unfortunate, more heartbreaking proof of Canetti's incurable hatred of women (hatred, as opposed to contempt, is a form of fear). Eliot deservedly aside, why such venom from such a great mind? "When you write down your life, every page should contain something no one has ever heard about" (Elias Canetti). An absolute "must-have" title for Elias Canetti collectors. This title is a classic. This is one of few copies of the First Hardcover Edition/First Printing/First-State DJ (American) still available online and is in especially fine condition: Clean, crisp, and bright, a pristine beauty. Please note: Copies available online have serious flaws, are subsequent printings, or are remainder-marked. This is surely an accessible and lovely alternative. A scarce 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). ISBN 0811216365. $40.00

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