"A brilliant selection . . . Canetti's range astonishes." —Claire Messud, Harper's
A career-spanning collection of writings by the Nobel laureate Elias Canetti, edited and introduced by Pulitzer Prize winner Joshua Cohen.
He embarked on no adventures, he was in no war. He was never in prison, he never killed anyone. He neither won nor lost a fortune. All he ever did was live in this century. But that alone was enough to give his life dimension, both of feeling and of thought.
Here, in his own words, is one of the twentieth century’s foremost chroniclers: a dizzyingly inventive, formally unplaceable, unstoppably peripatetic writer named Elias Canetti, who was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1981. I Want to Keep Smashing Myself Until I Am Whole is a summa of Canetti’s life and thought, and the definitive introduction to a writer whose genius for interpreting world-historical changes was matched by a keen sense of wonder and an abiding skepticism about the knowability of the self. Born into a Sephardi Jewish family in Bulgaria, Canetti later lived in Austria, England, and Switzerland while traversing, in writing, the great thematic provinces of his time: politics, identity, mortality, and more. Sourced from Canetti’s landmark texts, including Crowds and Power, an analysis of authoritarianism and mobs; Auto-da-Fé, a darkly comic, daringly modernist novel about the fate of European literature; the famous sequence of sensory-titled memoirs, including The Tongue Set Free and The Torch in My Ear; and never-before-translated writings such as the posthumous The Book Against Death, this collection assembles its luminous shards into the fullest portrait yet of Canetti’s remarkable achievement.
Edited and introduced by Pulitzer Prize winner Joshua Cohen (Book of Numbers, The Netanyahus), I Want to Keep Smashing Myself Until I Am Whole leads us from Canetti’s polyglot childhood to his mature preoccupations, and his friendships and rivalries with Hermann Broch, James Joyce, Karl Kraus, Thomas Mann, Robert Musil, and others. This collection is also interspersed with aphorisms and diary entries, revealing Canetti’s formal range and stylistic versatility in flashes of erudition and introspective humor. Throughout, we come to see Canetti’s restless fascination with the instability of identity as one of the keys to his thought—as he reminds us, It all depends on this: with whom we confuse ourselves.
Praise for I Want to Keep Smashing Myself Until I Am Whole
"A brilliant selection . . . Canetti's range astonishes . . . Canetti’s evocation of his early childhood in Ruse, Bulgaria, is Tolstoyan in its lucidity and immediacy . . . He expounds movingly and wisely about what matters to him most—art and death." —Claire Messud, Harper's
"A primer on one of the great questing voices of the 20th century . . . The time is right for (re)reading Canetti, who observed with bleak equanimity the various hellfires that presaged our present era of shock and collapse, without ever losing his illusionless faith that there might yet be salvation in witnessing." —Stephen Phelan, Los Angeles Review of Books
"An impressive career-spanning collection . . . Varied and powerful, this is a great introduction to Canetti’s work." —Publishers Weekly (starred review)
"Vibrant . . . A well-chosen introduction to a lauded intellectual." —Kirkus Reviews
Praise for Elias Canetti
“Rarely has anyone been so at home in the mind, with so little ambivalence. Far from being a source of complacency, this attitude is Canetti’s great strength . . . [He] is someone who has felt in a profound way the responsibility of words . . . His work eloquently and nobly defends tension, exertion, moral and amoral seriousness.” —Susan Sontag, The New York Review of Books
"Canetti invites—indeed, compels—judgment. His exacting presence honors literature." —George Steiner, The New Yorker
Situated on the main street of the historic Delaware Riverfront town of New Hope, Pennsylvania, Farley’s Bookshop and its knowledgeable, experienced staff have endeavored to satisfy the literary tastes of the area inhabitants for over fifty years. Whether you are Bucks County born-and-bred or just stopping by to enjoy the crisp river air and delightful scenery, you will be pleasantly surprised to find the largest and most diverse collection of books-in-print in Bucks County. Farley’s may have competition, but it has few peers. We encourage you to browse our website, but please remember that getting acquainted with our online persona is no substitute for exploring the narrow passageways and teeming shelves of our storefront and discovering that perfect book nestled amongst so many others.
New Hope for American Art is the most comprehensive book ever published on artists from, and surrounding, the New Hope Art Colony (also known as the Pennsylvania Impressionists). This book, with its 612 pages and over 1,000 color plates of artwork include biographies of 165 individual Pennsylvania Impressionists and New Hope Modernists as well as artists from the Philadelphia Ten, a pioneering group of women all educated at Philadelphia art schools.
In this book, you'll find biographies and artwork from such artists as:
New Hope for American Art was authored, designed and published by James M. Alterman, an expert in the field of Pennsylvania Impressionist and Modernist painting. A longtime collector and owner of two fine art galleries, Alterman wanted to create a user-friendly book intended not only to educate collectors and enthusiasts about this art but to help train one's eye. The book offers valuable tips on how to avoid common mistakes often experienced by new collectors drawn from the author's personal experiences as a collector and fine art dealer.