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  • Published: 3 January 2017
  • ISBN: 9781784871314
  • Imprint: Vintage Classics
  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 432
  • RRP: $19.99


Neither a travel book, nor a vast prose poem, nor a history, nor philosophy, nor voyage of discovery, but often all at once - Independent on Sunday


In this fascinating journey Claudio Magris, whose knowledge is encyclopaedic and whose curiosity limitless, guides his reader from the source of the Danube in the Bavarian hills through Austro-Hungary and the Balkans to the Black Sea. Along the way he raises the ghosts that inhabit the houses and monuments - from Ovid to Kafka and Canetti - and in so doing sets his finger on the pulse of Central Europe, the vital crucible of a culture that draws on influences of East and West, of Christendom and Islam.

  • Published: 3 January 2017
  • ISBN: 9781784871314
  • Imprint: Vintage Classics
  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 432
  • RRP: $19.99

About the author

Claudio Magris

Claudio Magris, born in 1939, is an Italian scholar, translator and writer. He is a graduate of the University of Turin, where he studied Germanistics, and has been professor of Modern German Literature at the University of Trieste since 1978. He is an essayist and columnist for the Italian newspaper Corriere della Sera and for other European journals and newspapers. Professor Magris is a member of several European academies and served as senator in the Italian Senate from 1994 to 1996.
His novels include Danube, A Different Sea and Microcosms. Magris won the Strega Prize in 1998 for Danube. He was also awarded the Erasmus prize 2001 and a Prince of Asturias Awards for Literature in 2004. On 31 July 2006 Austria awarded its annual state prize for European literature to Magris.

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Praise for Danube

Impeccable... Magris, a guide of enormous modesty, has not only read everything: he has been everywhere, met everybody

Nicholas Shakespeare, Arts and Books Review

There is so much to praise about this extraordinary book... Irresistably enjoyable

Mark Thompson, Literary Review

Not simply a masterpiece of travel; it is an odyssey... A splendid book, beautifully translated


A uniquely stimulating and individual portrait of the heart of Europe

Colin Thubron, Sunday Telegraph

This book is full of wonder and delights...Magris writes beautifully; he seems to have read everything. His reading has not made just clever but wise. On almost every page there are passages that make the heart life... Danube is a masterpiece

John Banville

This is the best introduction to the culture of central Europe, its genius and its tragedy...a work of great originality, which builds up to a mosaic of spectacle, incident and reflection from which the personalities of the narrator and the Danubian lands emerge

Daily Telegraph

Erudite and original

New York Review of Books

Magris proves a gracious, erudite, engaging and fair-minded companion on a journey no reader will forget

Irish Times

His forte is a wealth of literary and historical allusions from Austrian, French, Italian and German sources, which makes this book not only a treasure chest but also a profoundly perceptive study of central European history... wonderfully stimulating and constantly surprising

The Times

Like the river itself, Magris carries all along with him. Philosophy, war, natural history and politics are blended together with a mixture of curiosity, stylishness and all-encompassing knowledge


Italo Calvino described a classic as a book to which one can return and always find something new. Such a book is Magris’s Danube. In another 30 years we will find the same words and yet another book, fresh revelations divining a different world, a river that never ends, forever lighting out for the mythical territory of freedom.

Richard Flanagan, Guardian

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