"Dearest Georg": Love, Literature, and Power in Dark Times: The Letters of Elias, Veza, and Georges Canetti, 1933-1948

Overview

In 1934, Veza Taubner and Elias Canetti were married in Vienna. Elias describes the arrangement to his brother Georges as a “functional” marriage. Meanwhile, an intense intellectual love affair develops between Veza and Georges, a young doctor suffering fromtuberculosis. Four years later, Veza and Elias flee Nazi-ruled Vienna to London, where they lead an impoverished and extremely complicated marital life in exile.
Spanning the major part of Elias’s struggle for literary ...
See more details below
Other sellers (Hardcover)
  • All (9) from $4.98   
  • New (4) from $13.90   
  • Used (5) from $4.98   

Available on NOOK devices and apps  
  • NOOK Devices
  • NOOK HD/HD+ Tablet
  • NOOK
  • NOOK Color
  • NOOK Tablet
  • Tablet/Phone
  • NOOK for Windows 8 Tablet
  • NOOK for iOS
  • NOOK for Android
  • NOOK Kids for iPad
  • PC/Mac
  • NOOK for Windows 8
  • NOOK for PC
  • NOOK for Mac
  • NOOK Study
  • NOOK for Web

Want a NOOK? Explore Now

NOOK Book (eBook)
$10.99
BN.com price
(Save 38%)$17.99 List Price

Overview

In 1934, Veza Taubner and Elias Canetti were married in Vienna. Elias describes the arrangement to his brother Georges as a “functional” marriage. Meanwhile, an intense intellectual love affair develops between Veza and Georges, a young doctor suffering fromtuberculosis. Four years later, Veza and Elias flee Nazi-ruled Vienna to London, where they lead an impoverished and extremely complicated marital life in exile.
Spanning the major part of Elias’s struggle for literary recognition, from 1933, before the publication of his novel, Auto-da-Fé, to 1959, when he finished his monumental Crowds and Power, the Canetti letters provide an intimate look at these formative years through the prism of a veritable love triangle: the newly married Elias has a string of lovers; his wife, Veza, is hopelessly in love with an idealized image of his youngest brother, Georges; and Georges is drawn to good looking men as well as to his motherly sister-in-law. Independently and often secretly, the couple communicates with Georges, who lives in Paris: Veza tells of Elias’s amorous escapades and bouts of madness, Elias complains about Veza’s poor nerves and depression. Each of them worries about Georges’s health–if she could, Veza would kiss away the germs. Georges is an infrequent correspondent, but he diligently stores away the letters from his brother and sister-in-law. In 2003, long after his death, they were accidentally discovered in a Paris basement and comprise not only a moving and insightful document, but real literature.
Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
“In 2003, a large packet of letters was discovered accidentally in a steamer trunk in a Paris basement: they were written to Georges Canetti from his brother, Elias (1981 winner of the Nobel Prize for Literature), and Elias’s wife, Veza, along with some of Georges’s letters to them. Appearing now for the first time in English in Dollenmayer’s splendid translation, the correspondence reveals a quite passionate relationship among the three…Although Elias has controlled his image through his memoirs, these letters offer a glaringly honest glimpse into this triangular relationship.”—Publishers Weekly
Library Journal
Bulgarian-born author Elias Canetti—laureate of the 1981 Nobel Prize in Literature for his diverse body of work of fiction, essays, and nonfiction in German—led a complicated life, settling in England along with his wife, Veza, after fleeing Nazi-ruled Vienna. His younger brother, Georges, a microbiologist doctor, lived in France until his death there in 1971. Veza herself was a published author but devoted herself to making her husband finish his oeuvre. Separately, and often secretly, the couple corresponded with Georges, writing about their respective states of physical and mental health. This book is made up mainly of the letters that Georges received from Elias and Veza (complete for the years 1933–38 and 1944–48) and that were discovered in his Paris residence after his death. This volume, an English translation of the 2006 German edition, includes the letters in chronological order as well as annotations identifying persons and explaining various metaphors and references. VERDICT Readers who want critical guidance to Canetti's work and his correspondence with siblings will find the lack of an introduction to this collection limiting. Otherwise, highly recommended for comprehensive academic collections.—Ali Houissa, Cornell Univ. Lib., Ithaca, NY
Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781590512975
  • Publisher: Other Press, LLC
  • Publication date: 2/2/2010
  • Pages: 436
  • Product dimensions: 5.80 (w) x 8.30 (h) x 1.80 (d)

Meet the Author

Elias Canetti (1905—1994), Bulgarian-born author of the novel Auto-da-Fé, the sociological study Crowds and Power, and three volumes of memoirs (The Tongue Set Free, The Torch in My Ear, and The Play of the Eyes), won the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1981. Canetti most recently made headlines with the posthumously published autobiographical notes on his years in England, Party in the Blitz: The English Years (New Directions, 2005).

Veza Canetti
(1897—1963), playwright, novelist, and short-story writer, was born in Vienna. After the annexation of Austria by Nazi Germany in 1938, she and her husband, Elias Canetti, fled Vienna for London. She gained literary recognition only posthumously. She is the author of the novels Yellow Street and The Tortoises (New Directions, 2005).

David Dollenmayer
is Professor of German at Worcester Polytechnic Institute and the author of The Berlin Novels of Alfred Döblin. He has translated works by Peter Stephan Jungk, Michael Kleeberg, Anna Mitgutsch, Perikles Monioudis, Mietek Pemper, and Moses Rosenkranz. He lives in Hopkinton, Massachusetts.
Read More Show Less

Read an Excerpt

February 10, 1934

My dear Elias,

Today I would finally have begun writing you a “real” letter–a long one–if I hadn’t been interrupted by a piece of news that forces me to write as quickly as possible. So this will be a short letter. I’ve heard that you plan to marry Veza, that the banns have been posted in the Temple, already proclaimed once, and that it will all be over after the third proclamation. I cannot believe that anyone could be so ill-disposed to you as to invent and spread such a blatant lie. Consequently, I must regard the news as true, just as I have until now always refused to take at all seriously anything on this topic that could be interpreted as a silly rumor.

I don’t have the slightest intention of influencing your course of action and in any case, I don’t even know if it’s still possible. Don’t think I’m being a hypocrite when I say I don’t want to interfere, because it’s obvious that you already know everything you will read here. Thus, it would be possible for you to judge on your own whether there’s the slightest connection between what you know and what you’re about to do. So let me just refresh your memory. I have the right to, for you know how highly I regard Veza, how much I like her, and on the other hand, as an honest–if uncommunicative–person, how much I wish only the best for her precisely because I regard and like her. Thus, I’m writing this only for you and not against her. You are about to do the stupidest thing you could possibly do. However one looks at it, there is no other conclusion.

Read More Show Less

Table of Contents

About this translation

The Letters of Elias, Veza, and Georges Canetti, 1933-1948 1

Two Letters to Georges, 1959 363

Acknowledgments 375

Notes 377

Bibliography 419

Picture Credits 413

Index 425

Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Be the first to write a review
( 0 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(0)

4 Star

(0)

3 Star

(0)

2 Star

(0)

1 Star

(0)

Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Noble.com Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & Noble.com that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & Noble.com does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at BN.com or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation

Reminder:

  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & Noble.com and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Noble.com Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & Noble.com reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & Noble.com also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on BN.com. It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

 
Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously

    If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
    Why is this product inappropriate?
    Comments (optional)