First Edition of Auto-Da-Fe; Signed by Elias Canetti
Item Number: 1548
London: Jonathan Cape, 1946.
First edition in English of the Nobel Prize-winning author’s most well-known work. Octavo, original black cloth. Signed by Elias Canetti on the front free endpaper. Near fine in a very good dust jacket that shows some light toning to the spine. Translated by from the German by C. V. Wedgwood. Rare and desirable signed.
Originally published in German as "Die Blendung" in 1935 and later banned in Nazi Germany, Auto-Da-Fe did not become widely known until the publication of Canetti's "Crowds and Power" in 1960. "In Auto-da-Fé no one is spared. Professor and furniture salesman, doctor, housekeeper, and thief all get it in the neck. The remoreseless quality of the comedy builds one of the most terrifying literary worlds of the century" (Salman Rushdie). "Savage, subtle, beautifully mysterious--one of the few great novels of the century" (Iris Murdoch). "A strange, eloquent and terrifying book" (Philip Toynbee). Auto da Fé is the story of Peter Kien, a distinguished, reclusive Sinologist living in Germany between the wars. With masterly precision, Canetti builds up the elements in Kien himself, and his personal relationships, which will lead to his destruction.