Danube

Overview

In this acclaimed international bestseller, Claudio Magris tracks the Danube River, setting his finger on the pulse of Central Europe, the crucible of a culture that draws on influences of East and West, Christianity and Islam. In each town he raises the ghosts that inhabit the houses and monuments, from Ovid and Marcus Aurelius to Kafka and Canetti, in “a fascinating blend of anecdote and history” (San Francisco Examiner).

Examines the breadth and spirit of ...

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Overview

In this acclaimed international bestseller, Claudio Magris tracks the Danube River, setting his finger on the pulse of Central Europe, the crucible of a culture that draws on influences of East and West, Christianity and Islam. In each town he raises the ghosts that inhabit the houses and monuments, from Ovid and Marcus Aurelius to Kafka and Canetti, in “a fascinating blend of anecdote and history” (San Francisco Examiner).

Examines the breadth and spirit of Danubian Central Europe, the heterogeneity of its many peoples and cultures, and the liveliness of its rich traditions.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

“A work of originality . . . This is the best introduction to the culture of Central Europe, its genius and its tragedy.” —The Daily Telegraph

Richard Eder
Magris' writing is as multifarious, as digressive, as whimsical, as ironic and as lyrical as his vision of Mitteleuropa. -- Los Angeles Times
Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
More than a thoroughfare linking Europe and Asia, the Danube, for Magris, is symbol and nourisher of a hinterland, a Germanic/Magyar/Slavic/Jewish/Central European culture counterposed to northern and western Europe. As he follows the river from the Bavarian hills to the Black Sea, lingering at villages, castles, Viennese cafes, ancient ruins and cemeteries, the author, a professor of German literature at the University of Trieste, offers a sustained, rich, often profound meditation on diverse themes: the tension between Greco-Roman and Teutonic civilization, the roots of fascism, Napoleon as a personification of modern, clashing nationalisms, etc. We read of Hapsburg splendor and decline, Nazi evil, Slavic soul-searching, Rumania as melting-pot of races and cultures. This sequence of stately tableaux is steeped in cultural and historical references to the likes of Kafka and Kepler, Haydn, Heidegger, Elias Canetti, George Konrad, Vasko Popa. Sept.
Library Journal
The Danube river runs from central to southeast Europe, and Danube is a stream of consciousness flowing down the history of the great basin. The intrepid Italian traveler and cultural and literary historian, Claudio Magris, has taken the occasion of his river-length journey to make forays into the legends and lore, history and geography, politics and literature of the peoples and places along the Danube's winding path. The result is a rambling amalgam rich in nuances and allusions, some of which may be lost on those unversed in Central European culture. This is a stimulating tour which will challenge and reward the attentive and courageous intellectual traveler. It is recommended for academic and public libraries.-- James B. Street, Santa Cruz P.L., Cal.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780374522452
  • Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux
  • Publication date: 10/28/2008
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 416
  • Sales rank: 191,142
  • Product dimensions: 5.40 (w) x 8.20 (h) x 1.20 (d)

Meet the Author

Claudio Magris is a scholar, translator, and writer. He is a professor of German literature at the University of Trieste, Italy.

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