Call for papers for the German Studies Association, Oct. 2-5, 2008, St. Paul,

Panel: “Elias and Veza Canetti, Together Again?: Revisiting Their Lives and

In recent years Canetti scholarship, ranging from Sven Hanuschek’s Canetti
biography to Ingrid Spört and Alexandra Strohmaier’s edited volume on Veza
Canetti, has provided important new impulses to the examination of the
relationship between Elias and Veza Canetti. This turn to critical biography
has been most notable in its the analysis of the Canettis’ relations to women
such as Iris Murdoch, Marie-Louise von Motesiczky and Frieda Benedikt, all
women with whom Elias Canetti was involved during his time in England after
WWII. Yet if biography in Elias and Veza Canetti studies is to prove itself as
a critical tool, more work needs to be done; not just to achieve a deeper
understanding of Elias and Veza Canetti’s relationship, but also of their
personal mental landscapes, their work, and the role of the women in Elias and
Veza Canetti’s life. A closer examination of issues such as exile, responses to
nationalism, gender, personality traits and collaboration in the case of the
Canettis and the women listed above are just some of the areas to be
considered. Will such inquiries lead to a reconsideration of Veza and Elias’s
work on the scale that Brecht’s work was revisited in light of his interaction
with Elisabeth Hauptmann, Margarete Steffin and, naturally, Helene Weigel? Is
their relationship as unusual or unorthodox as that of the aforementioned group
of people might be considered? Perhaps only by placing Elias and Veza together
again can their lives and work be reassessed within the complex framework of
the relationship between them and the women that marked their lives.

Send a 150-word abstract and a 100-word bio to Claude Desmarais at:
[log in to unmask] by February 12th.

Claude Desmarais
Assistant Professor of German
Modern Languages and Literatures
Mount Allison University
Sackville, NB E4L 1A3
Tel: 506-364-2475
Email: [log in to unmask]

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