Le radici ebraiche di Elias Canetti
Elias Canetti, born in the cosmopolitan Bulgaria of 1905 to a Sephardic family, is known for his texts written in German, despite his early initiation into the world of the archaic Spanish spoken by his forefathers in Spain before the Expulsion (1492). He moves often to different European cities, thus mirroring the fate of the Wandering Jew. Nonetheless, Canetti does not totally conform to the traditional image of the Jew, since he does not accept the Jewish laws. This paper tries therefore to unveil the Jewish identity of the author by looking for that mysterious and secret relationship with the ‘Old-Testamentary’ Judaism, in which those traces can be found, that help Canetti’s spirit, imbued with pietas, become pure humanitas. Moreover, the languages he chooses – archaic Spanish and German –, which determine his life as a writer, and that he defines as 'die beiden grossen Vertreibungen' merge his Hebraic-Sephardic destiny with the German-Jewish one; the fate of his Hebraic roots and the fate of his existence as a Jew forced to emigrate.
Prospero. Rivista di Letterature Straniere, Comparatistica e Studi Culturali
EUT Edizioni Università di Trieste
Renata Caruzzi, "Le radici ebraiche di Elias Canetti", in: Prospero. Rivista di Letterature Straniere, Comparatistica e Studi Culturali, VI (1999), pp. 23-39