Paul Celan
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Paul Celan : Selections

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The best introduction to the work of Paul Celan, this anthology offers a broad collection of his writing in unsurpassed English translations along with a wealth of commentaries by major writers and philosophers. The present selection is based on Celan's own 1968 selected poems, though enlarged to include both earlier and later poems, as well as two prose works, The Meridian, Celan's core statement on poetics, and the narrative Conversation in the Mountains. This volume also includes letters to Celan's wife, the artist Gisele Celan-Lestrange; to his friend Erich Einhorn; and to Rene Char and Jean-Paul Sartre - all appearing here for the first time in English.
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Product details

  • Paperback | 242 pages
  • 139.7 x 205.74 x 15.24mm | 317.51g
  • Berkerley, United States
  • English
  • New
  • 13 b-w photographs
  • 0520241681
  • 9780520241688
  • 523,763

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"Paul Celan is one of the essential poets--not just of the twentieth century, but of all time. Pierre Joris's selections from the remarkable, heart-shattering work provide what is surely the best one-volume introduction to Celan ever published in English."--Paul Auster

"No twentieth-century poet pierces the heart of language with such an exquisite blade as Paul Celan. With Pierre Joris & company's translations of key poems, poetics, letters, and exemplary commentary, it is as if we are reading Celan for the last time, once again."--Charles Bernstein, author of With Strings

"Joris has dwelled during the better part of his life in Celan's words and silences and, as his brilliant introduction demonstrates, he has journeyed through the work's intricacies like very few others."--Michael Palmer, author of The Promises of Glass

"A beautiful--and necessary--book. Celan's charred radiance shines through every page."--Richard Sieburth, translator of Hymns and Fragments
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Back cover copy

"Paul Celan is one of the essential poets--not just of the twentieth century, but of all time. Pierre Joris's selections from the remarkable, heart-shattering work provide what is surely the best one-volume introduction to Celan ever published in English."--Paul Auster"No twentieth-century poet pierces the heart of language with such an exquisite blade as Paul Celan. With Pierre Joris & company's translations of key poems, poetics, letters, and exemplary commentary, it is as if we are reading Celan for the last time, once again."--Charles Bernstein, author of "With Strings"Joris has dwelled during the better part of his life in Celan's words and silences and, as his brilliant introduction demonstrates, he has journeyed through the work's intricacies like very few others."--Michael Palmer, author of "The Promises of Glass"A beautiful--and necessary--book. Celan's charred radiance shines through every page."--Richard Sieburth, translator of "Hymns and Fragments
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Table of contents

Introduction: "Polysemy without mask" Key to Translators I. POEMS from Romanian Prose Poems (c. 1947) from Mohn und Gedachtnis/Poppy and Memory (1952) from Von Schwelle zu Schwelle/From Threshold to Threshold (1955) from Sprachgitter/Speech-Grille (1959) from Die Niemandsrose/The Noonesrose (1963) from Atemwende/Breathturn (1967) from Fadensonnen/Threadsuns (1968) from Lichtzwang/Lightduress (1970) from Schneepart/Snowpart (1971) from Zeitgehoft/Timehalo (1976) II. PROSES Conversation in the Mountains (1959) The Meridian (1960) III. DOCUMENTS from the Correspondence Letter #1: To Gisele Celan-Lestrange (1952) Letter #2: To Gisele Celan-Lestrange (1952) Letter #3: To Rene Char (unsent) (1962) Letter #4: To Erich Einhorn (1962) Letter #5: To Jean-Paul Sartre (unsent) (1962) Letter #6: To Erich Einhorn (1962) Letter #7: To Gisele Celan-Lestrange (1965) Letter #8: To Eric Celan (1968) Letter #9: From Gisele Celan-Lestrange to Paul (1969) Letter #10: To Gisele Celan-Lestrange (1970) Das Stundenglass, tief (facsimile) Uber dich hinaus (facsimile) Es wird etwas sein, spater (facsimile) IV. ON PAUL CELAN Paul Celan and Language--Jacques Derrida Encounters with Paul Celan--E.M. Cioran For Paul Celan--Andrea Zanzotto On Paul Celan in Neuchatel--Friedrich Durrenmatt The Memory of Words--Edmond Jabes Selected Bibliography Acknowledgments of Permissions
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Review quote

"No twentieth-century poet pierces the heart of language with such an exquisite blade as Paul Celan. With Pierre Joris & company's translations of key poems, poetics, letters, and exemplary commentary, it is as if we are reading Celan for the last time, once again."
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About Paul Celan

One of the greatest poets to write in German and among the most gifted writers of the twentieth century in any language, Paul Celan was born in Czernowitz, Bukovina, in 1920. He survived the Holocaust and settled in Paris in 1948, where he lived until his suicide by drowning in 1970. Pierre Joris is the author of many books of poetry as well as a range of anthologies and translations; he recently published A Nomad Poetics, a volume of essays. In 2003 he was Berlin Prize fellow at the American Academy in Berlin. He is Professor of English at the State University of New York, Albany.
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Rating details

22 ratings
4.5 out of 5 stars
5 55% (12)
4 41% (9)
3 5% (1)
2 0% (0)
1 0% (0)
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