This celebrates a river which has been at the centre of the great movements of history, the crucible of a culture that draws on influences of East and West, of Christendom and Islam. The reader accompanies the author along its course, from 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 - Kafka and Freud, Wittgenstein and Marcus Aurelius, Lukacs, Heidegger and Celine, Canetti and Ovid - philosophers, novelists, diplomats and "condottieri", patriots and politicians.
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Winner of John Florio Prize 1988
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