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Claudio Magris (b. April 10, 1939, Trieste) is an Italian scholar, translator and writer.
Magris graduated at 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.
His numerous studies have helped to promote an awareness in Italy of Central-European culture and of the literature of the Habsburg myth.
Magris is a member of several European academies and served as senator in the Italian Senate from 1994 to 1996.
His first book on the Habsburg myth in modern Austrian literature rediscovered central European literature. His journalistic writings have been collected in Dietro le parole ("Behind Words", 1978) and Itaca e oltre ("Ithaca and Beyond", 1982). He has written essays on E.T.A. Hoffmann, Henrik Ibsen, Italo Svevo, Robert Musil, Hermann Hesse and Jorge Luis Borges. His novels and theatre productions, many translated into several languages, include Illazioni su una sciabola (1984; translated as Inferences from a sabre, ISBN 0-7486-6036-4), Danubio (1986; translated as Danube: a sentimental journey from the source to the Black Sea, ISBN 0-00-272074-4), Stadelmann (1988), Un altro mare (1991; translated as A different sea, ISBN 0-00-271339-X) and Microcosmi (1997; translated as Microcosms, ISBN 1-86046-618-4).
His breakthrough was Danubio (1986), which is a magnum opus. In this book (said by the author to be an "drowned novel"), Magris tracks the course of the Danube from its sources to the sea. The whole trip evolves into a colourful, rich canvas of the multicultural European history.
Magris won the Bagutta Prize in 1987 for Danubio and the Strega Prize in 1997 for Microcosmi. He was also awarded the Erasmus Prize in 2001 and a Prince of Asturias Award for Literature in 2004. On July 31, 2006 he won the Austrian State Prize for European Literature.