Intellectually passionate novelist Elias Canetti (1905–1994) was born on this day in what is now Ruse, Bulgaria. The son of successful Jewish mercharts, he called his childhood along the lower Danube River a "colorful time."
"People of the most varied backgrounds lived there," he said. "On any day you could hear seven or eight languages."
In 1911, he moved with his family to England, then Vienna, Switzerland, and Germany. He remained a lifelong observer of culture and language and dedicated his life to writing about his diverse outlook on life.
"We write because we cannot speak out loud to ourselves," he said. "We stay more innocent when we write."
Canetti wrote his first play The Wedding (1932) and gained critical acclaim for the translation of Upton Sinclair works and literary examination of Franz Kafka's life (Letters to Felice).
Canetti said, "The process of writing has something infinite about it. Even though it is interrupted each night, it is one single notation."
With the rise of Nazism, Canetti captured his observations with his anti-hero Peter Kien in the black satirical novel Auto Da Fé (The Tower of Babel) (1935). His social philosophy, Crowds and Power (1960) examined the mysterious power of group psychology over the individual.
"When you write down your life, every page should contain something no one has ever heard about," he said. His autobiography was brilliantly crafted and laid the foundation for his Nobel Prize for Literature in 1981.
"All the things one has forgotten scream for help in dreams," he said.
The possibilities are endless.