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Canetti, Elias (Translated by Joachim Neugroschel). THE HUMAN PROVINCE. New York City, NY: Continuum/Seabury Press, 1978. Hardcover. First Edition/First Printing. 281 pages. Fine/Fine.

Retrospective collection of notes, fragments, and aphorisms. One of Elias Canetti's finest achievements. 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 Provinz des Menschen: Aufzeichnungen" in a felicitous English translation by Joachim Neugroschel. An indispensable record of thirty years of "jottings", that is, thinking-as-living, living-as-thinking. These notes-to-oneself are all entries in the Notebooks he kept between 1942 and 1972: Brilliant, unsurpassed, and humane aphoristic writing that questions and upends accepted wisdom, and as such, is more valuable than almost all other writers' fully articulated essays and books. Not just a working journal but a full-fledged literary genre in Canetti's (and Kafka's) hands, he published five of them in all, spanning his entire adult life, not counting the precursor to the present volume (which covers the period 1942-1948, published in German only), and including a posthumous one. As an aphorist, that is to say, as a writer who wanted to distill his Thought and have the Last Word on a particular subject, Elias Canetti had very few rivals in the Modern Era, excepting perhaps his great predecessors in Nietzsche and Kafka and near-coevals in Walter Benjamin, E. M. Cioran, and Theodor Adorno. The beauty and wisdom of the seemingly random, stray thoughts of a great mind such as Canetti's can only be shown through a few shining examples: "We have no standard any more for anything, ever since human life is no longer the standard". "Everything one records contains a grain of hope no matter how deeply it may come from despair". "The enemy of my enemy is NOT my friend". These acute, compressed observations present themselves as a gift to the reader for which the only appropriate response is profound gratitude. They also render an intellectual portrait of Canetti that no biographer could possibly replicate. 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 beauty. 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, 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). ISBN 0816493359. $80.00

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