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Party In The Blitz
by Elias Canetti
Translated from the German by Michael Hofmann
With a contribution by Elias Canetti
Elias Canetti’s Party in the Blitz captures the “torture” and “needless humiliations” of his years in exile in wartime London. Well known throughout mainland Europe, Canetti was ignored by British intellectuals, and he scorned them in turn. By force of will alone, he accumulated followers, but not before being christened “the godmonster of Hampstead.” Party in the Blitz, like an X-ray, displays Canetti’s brief, scathing, brimstone sketches of the various people in his social circle: T.S. Eliot, Iris Murdoch, Ludwig Wittgenstein, Herbert Read, Bertrand Russell. Gorgeously translated by Michael Hofmann, Party in the Blitz lives up to Canetti’s injunction that “when you write down your life, every page should contain something no one has ever heard about.”