Book - 1984
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Auto-da-Fé , Elias Canetti's only work of fiction, is a staggering achievement that puts him squarely in the ranks of major European writers such as Robert Musil and Hermann Broch. It is the story of Peter Kien, a scholarly recluse who lives among and for his great library. The destruction of Kien through the instrument of the illiterate, brutish housekeeper he marries constitutes the plot of the book. The best writers of our time have been concerned with the horror of the modern world--one thinks of Kafka, to whom Canetti has often been compared. But Auto-da-Fé stands as a completely original, unforgettable treatment of the modern predicament.
Publisher: New York : Farrar Straus Giroux, 1984.
ISBN: 9780374518790
Characteristics: 464 p. ; 23 cm.
Alternative Title: Tower of Babel.


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Apr 10, 2015

"He loved his library so dearly; it was his substitute for human beings."
Elias Canetti was a Bulgarian Jew who wrote in German. He is best known for his memoirs, the book "Crowds and Power," and this, his sole novel. He won the Nobel Prize in 1981. The title refers to the burning of heretics by the Inquisition and its the the story of a hermit-like scholar who loves books more than people and takes refuge in his vast library. His life is disrupted by the shrewish housekeeper he marries. And it goes on for like 450 pages. He's been compared to Kakfa, but Kafka's more fun. This is one of the more suffocating books I've read. Originally published in 1935. "In 'Auto-da-Fe' no one is spared."-Salman Rushdie


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