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Paul Celan


Paul Celan (Author), Pierre Joris (Editor), Pierre Joris (Introduction)

Available worldwide

Paperback, 242 pages
ISBN: 9780520241688
March 2005
$34.95, £27.95
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 Gisèle Celan-Lestrange; to his friend Erich Einhorn; and to René Char and Jean-Paul Sartre—all appearing here for the first time in English.
Introduction: “Polysemy without mask”
Key to Translators

from Romanian Prose Poems (c. 1947)
from Mohn und Gedächtnis/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 Zeitgehöft/Timehalo (1976)

Conversation in the Mountains (1959)
The Meridian (1960)

from the Correspondence
Letter #1: To Gisèle Celan-Lestrange (1952)
Letter #2: To Gisèle Celan-Lestrange (1952)
Letter #3: To René 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 Gisèle Celan-Lestrange (1965)
Letter #8: To Eric Celan (1968)
Letter #9: From Gisèle Celan-Lestrange to Paul (1969)
Letter #10: To Gisèle Celan-Lestrange (1970)
Das Stundenglass, tief (facsimile)
Uber dich hinaus (facsimile)
Es wird etwas sein, später (facsimile)

Paul Celan and Language—Jacques Derrida
Encounters with Paul Celan—E.M. Cioran
For Paul Celan—Andrea Zanzotto
On Paul Celan in Neuchâtel—Friedrich Dürrenmatt
The Memory of Words—Edmond Jabès

Selected Bibliography
Acknowledgments of Permissions
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.
“One of Celan’s best translators [Joris] has gathered selections that span the poet’s career and represent seven translators. . . . This is a handy volume for those wishing to explore the work of a complex and visionary writer.”—Ray Gonzalez Bloomsbury Review
“In this generous collection of Celan’s poetry, prose, and letters, Joris and his collaborators have done an excellent job of turning Celan’s work into English.”—David Kaufmann Forward
"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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