Elias Canetti

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Elias Canetti, Nobel Prize Laureate in Literature

Elias Canetti (Ruse 25 July, 1905- Zurich, 13 August, 1994) was a Bulgarian-born British-Austrian novelist and Nobel Prize in Literature winner, who wrote in German.


Born in Rustschuk (now Ruse, Bulgaria) to a Jewish family who had long worked in trade, he spent his child years from 1905 to 1911 in Rustschuk, (Bulgaria) until the family moved to England, because of his father's profession. In 1912 his father died and his mother moved with her children to Vienna in the same year. By this time Canetti already spoke Ladino, Bulgarian, English and some French (he studied the latter two in the one year in England). However, being in Vienna from the age of 7 onwards, the main language he used (taught by his mother) was German. In the next 10 years the family moved first from 1916 to 1921 to Zurich and then until 1924 to Germany where Canetti graduated from high school.

Canetti went back in Vienna in 1924 in order to study chemistry. However his real ambition during his years in Vienna was philosophy and literature. Introduced into the literary circles of first republic-Vienna, he started writing. He gained a degree in chemistry from the University of Vienna in 1929, but never worked as a chemist. In 1938, after the Anschluss of Austria, Canetti moved to London where he settled and stayed until the 1970s and received British citizenship in 1952. For his last 20 years, Canetti predominantly lived in Zurich.


  • Die Hochzeit (The Wedding, play, 1932)
  • Komoedie der Eitelkeit 1934 (The Comedy of Vanity)
  • Die Blendung 1935 (Auto-da-Fé, novel, tr.1946)
  • Die Befristeten 1956 (? premiere of the play in Oxford) (Their Days are Numbered)
  • Masse und Macht 1960 (Crowds and Power, study, tr. 1962, published in Hamburg)
  • Aufzeichnungen 1942-48 1965(Sketches)
  • Die Stimmen von Marrakesch 1968 published by Hanser in Munich (The Voices of Marrakesh, travelogue, tr. 1978)
  • Der andere Prozess 1969 Kafkas Briefe an Felice (Kafka's Other Trial, tr. 1974).
  • Hitler nach Speer (Essay)
  • Die Provinz des Menschen Aufzeichnungen 1942-1972 (The Human Province, tr. 1978)
  • Der Ohrenzeuge. Fuenfzig Charaktere 1974 (Ear Witness: Fifty Characters, tr. 1979).
  • Das Gewissen der Worte 1975. Essays (The Conscience of Words)
  • Die Gerettete Zunge 1977 (The Tongue Set Free, memoir, tr. 1979)
  • Die Fackel im Ohr 1980 Lebensgeschichte 1921-1931 (The Torch in My Ear, memoir, tr. 1982)
  • Das Augenspiel 1985 Lebensgeschichte 1931-1937 (The Play of the Eyes, memoir, tr. 1990)
  • Das Geheimherz der Uhr: Aufzeichnungen 1987 (The Secret Heart of the Clock, tr. 1989)
  • Die Fliegenpein (The Agony of Flies, 1992)
  • Nachträge aus Hampstead (Notes from Hampstead, 1994)
  • Party im Blitz; Die englischen Jahre 2003 (Party in the Blitz, memoir, published posthumously, tr. 2005)
  • Aufzeichnungen für Marie-Louise (written 1942, compiled and published posthumously, 2005

See also

External link

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