By Claudio Magris
In this acclaimed foreign bestseller, Claudio Magris tracks the Danube River, environment his finger at the pulse of vital Europe, the crucible of a tradition that pulls on affects of East and West, Christianity and Islam. In every one city he increases the ghosts that inhabit the homes and monuments, from Ovid and Marcus Aurelius to Kafka and Canetti, in "a interesting mixture of anecdote and background" (San Francisco Examiner).
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Extra resources for Danube: A Sentimental Journey from the Source to the Black Sea
The Danube-Aach version of the story appears, on the other hand, to be the symbol of that all-German ideology which viewed the multinational Hapsburg monarchy as a branch of Teutonic civilization, a stratagem or an instrument of Reason for the cultural Germanization of Central and Eastern Europe. Such a thesis was maintained, for example, by Heinrich von Srbik, the great Austrian historian who sang the praises of Prince Eugène of Savoy, was averse to Frederick the Great and Prussianism, and ended up a National Socialist.
It embraces the Empire in which the sovereign addressed himself to “my peoples” and the national anthem was sung in eleven different tongues. The Danube is German-Magyar-Slavic-Romanic-Jewish Central Europe, polemically opposed to the Germanic Reich; it is a “hinternational” ecumene, for which in Prague Johannes Urzidil praised it; it is a hinterworld “behind the nations”. The Danube-Aach version of the story appears, on the other hand, to be the symbol of that all-German ideology which viewed the multinational Hapsburg monarchy as a branch of Teutonic civilization, a stratagem or an instrument of Reason for the cultural Germanization of Central and Eastern Europe.
THE REPORT Amedeo’s report, contained in a minutely detailed letter – which I have brought with me in order to do a spot-check before talking to him about it when he joins us, which should be soon – accepts the Furtwangen claim, albeit with a few variants, according to which the source of the Danube is the Breg; and that therefore the Breg is the real Danube, while the Brigach, being less far from the Black Sea, is a tributary of the Breg. The report takes the form of an incisive epistle, the scientific exactitude of which is garnished with humanistic elegance and threatened by melancholy.
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