This is the second volume of Elias Canetti's autobiography, following "The Tongue Set Free" and preceding "The Play of the Eyes". It is above all else an account of his admiration for the first great mentor of his adult years, the Viennese writer Karl Kraus. It is also a portrait of Canetti's first wife, Veza. Within the framework of these great passions, Canetti provides an account of the Vienna and Berlin of the 1920s. The voices of Kraus, Veza and Canetti's mother are accompanied by those of Brecht, Isaac Babel, George Grosz and many others.