Elias Canetti (1905-1994)

He keeps popping up in my notes.  I should have a whole commonplace book devoted to him but I don't really need it because I've marked up his books so much that they have almost become commonplace books.  Actually, I don't like what I know of him at all, his life, his personality, his fiction writing.  He won the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1981. I didn't even know that when I began to get addicted to him. At this point I can't remember how it happened, whether I came across a good line, or something I read referred to his memoirs or I just liked the title of one of his books.  Great title:  "The Secret Heart of the Clock.".  He has written four memoirs; I own only two of them.  He or someone may have called them memoirs but they're not.  They are catchalls of thoughts and comments and aphorisms, some great one-liners, and some triggers that could explode into new work.  I've marked some of his "situations" as possible plays or stories. It seems I brought a few quotes with me in my bundles of paper and I'll give  you a few examples of things I like.  I'll number them and then I don't have to put quotation marks on them. You'll know they are his.  1) Everyone can pick years to skip. 2) In old age the senses get sticky. 3) If you can't be bothered, you have already died. 4) You are less credible than Kafka  because you've been living so long. 5) When you write down life, every page should contain something no one has ever heard about. 6) There are too many. One dies of the overwhelming weight of the dead. 7) To write until, in the joy of writing, one no longer believes in one's own unhappiness. 8) I don't want to know what I was, I want to become what I was.  9) But the truth is that the more one has experienced, the more there is to be astonished by.  Our capacity for wonder grows with experience, becomes more urgent. 10) In the end, people compare you with everything you have worshipped and held high above yourself.  It's called old age. Yes, indeed.