I accept no death.

Elias Canetti

The Nobel Prize winner Elias Canetti all his life declared himself a “mortal enemy” of death—and here, in English at last, is his landmark book on the subject

Available Aug, 06 2024

The Book Against Death

Literature by Elias Canetti

Translated by Peter Filkins

With a contribution by Joshua Cohen

The Book Against Death is the work of a lifetime: a collection of Elias Canetti’s powerful, disarming, and often bleakly comic observations, diatribes, and musings on and against death. Evoking despair, melancholy, and fury, Canetti examines the inevitable demise of all beings—from the ant, the fish, and the worm to an executioner, a court painter, and a Greek god—while fiercely protesting the mass deaths incurred during war and the willingness of despots to wield death as power. Interspersed with material from philosophers and writers such as Goethe, Walter Benjamin, and Robert Walser, The Book Against Death is ultimately a moving affirmation of the value of life itself.

Paperback(published Aug, 06 2024)

Price US
Trim Size
5 x 8"
Page Count

Ebook(published Aug, 06 2024)

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I accept no death.

Elias Canetti

Canetti led his life without compromise, fear, or guilt, and [reading him is] like discovering, without warning, a complex and satisfying work of art.

David Denby, The New Yorker

Even twenty years after his death, one thing is certain: Elias Canetti is alive and kicking.

Tobias Schwartz, Der Tagesspiegel

His style is suave yet enrapturing, his memory and attention to detail simply extraordinary . . . One feels that in Canetti, modern European culture found its ultimate keeper.

Ilan Stavans, Forward

A diary of aphorisms circling the abyss, a project undertaken in the hopes that his own death would die—out now in a translation from the German by Peter Filkins. It’s one of those great books premised on its own failure, which increasingly I feel are the only books worth writing. Every page is alive with animus, ardor, humor, sufferance, with venom for death and its posturing acolytes...

Dan Piepenbring, Harper's

In The Book Against Death, the author assumes the role of a Roman orator, marshalling words against death the way one would a tyrant, as if one could banish it with speech, ridicule it out of existence.

Jared Marcel Pollen, The New Statesman