In Danube the author sets his finger on the pulse of Central Europe, the crucible of a culture that draws on influences of East and West, of Christendom and Islam. In this journey through the history and culture of the Danube lands, Claudio Magris, whose knowledge is encyclopaedic and curiosity limitless, guides the reader along the course of the river, from its source in the Bavarian hills through Austro-Hungary and the Balkans to the Black Sea. In each town he raises the ghosts that inhabit the houses and monuments, from Ovid and Marcus Aurelius to Kafka and Canetti. The Danube is the great artery of that elusive territory known as Mitteleuropa, from which so many of the most fascinating people and ideas of European history have emerged, and Magris has produced a wonderful celebration of it in a book that effortlessly combines erudition and writing of the highest quality.
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.