Elias Canetti originally intended Party in the Blitz to capture an image of his time in post-war London. Well known throughout Europe, Canetti scorned British intellectuals who weren't familiar with his work. By force of will alone he accumulated English followers, but not before being christened "the godmonster of Hampstead." Canetti's memories of various people in his social circle are brief and scathing brimstone sketches. T.S. Eliot, Iris Murdoch, Wittgenstein, Herbert Read, Bertrand Russell-Canetti rakes them all over the coals. To Canetti, T.S. Eliot was nothing more than an American emigrant trying desperately to act British, and Canetti's portrayal of Iris Murdoch, with whom he had an affair, is nothing short of brutal. Michael Hofmann's translation pulls no punches, delivering the goods on Canetti's searing injection: "when you write down your life, every page should contain something no one has ever heard about."
Elias Canetti (1905-1994) is the Bulgarian-born author of the novel Auto-da-Fe, the sociological study Crowds and Power, and his four-volume memoir (The Tongue Set Free, The Torch in my Ear, The Play of the Eyes, Party in the Blitz). Canetti won the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1981. For his translations, acclaimed poet Michael Hofmann has won the Independent Foreign Fiction Prize, the Dublin International IMPAC Award, the PEN/Book-of-the-Month Club Prize, the Helen and Kurt Wolff Translator's Prize, the Oxford-Weidenfeld Translation Prize, and The Schlegel-Tieck Prize (four times). He is the highly acclaimed translator of, among others, Kafka, Brecht, and Joseph Roth.