Danube: A Sentimental Journey from the Source to the Black Sea

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A triumphant celebration of a river that has forever been at the center of the great movements of history.

In this fascinating journey through the history and culture of the Danube, Claudio Magris, whose knowledge is encyclopedic and curiosity limitless, invites the reader to accompany him along the whole course of the river, from the Bavarian hills through Austro-Hungary and the Balkans to the Black Sea. In each town he raises the ghosts that inhabit the houses and monuments: ...

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Overview

A triumphant celebration of a river that has forever been at the center of the great movements of history.

In this fascinating journey through the history and culture of the Danube, Claudio Magris, whose knowledge is encyclopedic and curiosity limitless, invites the reader to accompany him along the whole course of the river, from the Bavarian hills through Austro-Hungary and the Balkans to the Black Sea. In each town he raises the ghosts that inhabit the houses and monuments: Kafka and Freud; Wittgenstein and Marcus Aurelius; Lukcs, Heidegger, and Cline; Canetti and Ovid. He also encounters a host of more obscure but no less intriguing personalities-philosophers, novelists, diplomats, and patriots-on an odyssey that brings middle-European culture to life in its most picturesque and evocative forms.

Danube is among the first of a new list of nonfiction paperbacks published as Harvill Press Editions.

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

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: 9781860468230
  • Publisher: Random House Adult Trade Publishing Group
  • Publication date: 4/1/2001
  • Pages: 416
  • Product dimensions: 5.01 (w) x 7.74 (h) x 0.96 (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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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 12, 2012

    RiverClan Camp

    Hello, I am Curlleaf, RiverClan's deputy. You'll have to get your paws wet if you want to see our camp. It's on an island. Don't be afraid of crossing; just listen to the murmur of the river--it's very soothing. Under these long, trailing branches, that's right. They are willow trees. You should see them in leaf-bare after a frost. They sparkle like frozen raindrops! I know I'm biased, but we have the best home. The trees are lush, the river full of fish. All right, shake your paws, duck your head, and follow me through the reeds. Well done, you've made it. The whole camp is surrounded by reeds and lush vegetation, murmuring in the breeze. I love the sound they make, under the burble of the water. Here, in this central clearing, we lie in the sun and share tongues. In the mornings, I lie here and dry my fur after an early patrol. It's my favorite spot in the whole camp. Here's the warriors' den, in this tangle of reeds. It's next to the nursery to protect the kits. Poke your head inside--it's all right; all the warriors are on patrol. Look up at the roof of the den. See how we've woven feathers into the branches? And along the edges are sparkling rocks and shells from the river. They make the den shimmer, don't they? It's just as beautiful in the nursery. See how close the river comes to the nursery? No worries, here it is shallow and safe, and the walls are strong. We like to have the kits living near the water. They inherit our love of it and learn to swim quickly. Across the clearing are the other dens, including Podclaw's--he's our medicine cat, and my brother. Peek inside. You'll see that he makes small caves in the earth for the herbs. Now the kits can'tscatter them when they run through chasing frogs. On the other side of the island, a couple of rocks stick out of the river. They soak up the warmth of the sun. My favorite days begin with hunting with my Clanmates, and end in the sun on those rocks. Our whole clan can fit on these Sunningrocks! There's even room left for chasing prey and play-fighting. Looks like rain. You should go too, the warriors will be back soon. Thanks for visiting!

    0 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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