Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
Danube: A Sentimental Journey from the Source to the Black Sea Hardcover – September 15, 1989
All Books, All the Time
Read author interviews, book reviews, editors picks, and more at the Amazon Book Review. Read it now
Customers who bought this item also bought
What other items do customers buy after viewing this item?
From Publishers Weekly
More than a thoroughfare linking Europe and Asia, the Danube, for Magris, is symbol and nourisher of a hinterland, a Germanic/Magyar/Slavic/Jewish/Central European culture counterposed to northern and western Europe. As he follows the river from the Bavarian hills to the Black Sea, lingering at villages, castles, Viennese cafes, ancient ruins and cemeteries, the author, a professor of German literature at the University of Trieste, offers a sustained, rich, often profound meditation on diverse themes: the tension between Greco-Roman and Teutonic civilization, the roots of fascism, Napoleon as a personification of modern, clashing nationalisms, etc. We read of Hapsburg splendor and decline, Nazi evil, Slavic soul-searching, Rumania as melting-pot of races and cultures. This sequence of stately tableaux is steeped in cultural and historical references to the likes of Kafka and Kepler, Haydn, Heidegger, Elias Canetti, George Konrad, Vasko Popa.
Copyright 1989 Reed Business Information, Inc.
From Library Journal
The Danube river runs from central to southeast Europe, and Danube is a stream of consciousness flowing down the history of the great basin. The intrepid Italian traveler and cultural and literary historian, Claudio Magris, has taken the occasion of his river-length journey to make forays into the legends and lore, history and geography, politics and literature of the peoples and places along the Danube's winding path. The result is a rambling amalgam rich in nuances and allusions, some of which may be lost on those unversed in Central European culture. This is a stimulating tour which will challenge and reward the attentive and courageous intellectual traveler. It is recommended for academic and public libraries.
- James B. Street, Santa Cruz P.L., Cal.
Copyright 1989 Reed Business Information, Inc.
Discover books for all types of engineers, auto enthusiasts, and much more. Learn more
Top customer reviews
Magris, though his prose may come across as dense at times, is actually a bon-vivant with a rather breezy, hedonistic take on life. This is fortunate, for it serves to leaven the sometimes ponderous meditations the reader comes across.
This duality of text and attitude is nicely encapsulated in the first two paragraphs of the chapter entitled "Believing In Ulm".
On the one hand, in the first paragraph:
"But all that is real is being erased each instant, even if luckily not always in the bloodstained theatre of phosphorous bombs. Little by little, however, things are imperceptibly erased, and one cannot do otherwise than believe that they nonetheless exist."
On the other hand, in the second:
"We are happy in the company of people who make us feel the unquestionable presence of the world, just as the body of the beloved gives us the certainty of those shoulders, that bosom, that curve of the hips, the surge of those as incontestable as the sea."
In general, there is a tendency to delve to a greater or lesser extent into the life and works of a writer or thinker, whetting the reader's appetite, and then, quite often, drolly cock a snook at said individual before moving on to a writer who dwelt further down the Danube. This is nowhere more evident than in his treatment of the Hungarian writer Georg Lukács, on whom Magris dwells for some time before jauntily quipping in the penultimate paragraph that: "From his window he could see the great Danube, but he probably had little appreciation of it, insensitive as he was to nature, which in his eyes was blemished by not having read Kant or Hegel."
The result of all this? A bit of a mixed bag, I should say. As Magris says of another writer, "The result is that he says too little and too much at the same time." Be this as it may, the author is widely read and the book is quite fun to read for the intellectual traveller who doesn't mind being taken down a Danube of history and ideas, if not the actual river.
insight into the mental gymnastics a Marxist intellectual had to put himself to be able to justify to himself European Communism.