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Selected Poems and Prose of Paul Celan

Selected Poems and Prose of Paul Celan

By Paul Celan
Translated by John Felstiner

The most wide-ranging volume of the work of Europe's leading postwar poet, including previously unpublished writings.

Paul Celan was born in 1920 in the East European province of Bukovina. Soon after his parents, German-speaking Jews, had perished at the hands of the Nazis, Celan wrote "Todesfuge" ("Death fugue"), the most compelling poem to emerge from the Holocaust. Self-exiled in Paris, for twenty-five years Celan continued writing in his German mother tongue, although it had "passed through the thousand darknesses of death-bringing speech." His writing purges and remakes that language, often achieving a hope-struck radiance never before seen in modern poetry. But in 1970, his psychic wounds unhealed, Celan drowned himself in the Seine. This landmark volume includes youthful lyrics, unpublished poems, and prose. All poems appear in the original and in translation on facing pages. John Felstiner's translations stem from a twenty-year immersion in Celan's life and work. John Bayley wrote in the New York Review of Books, "Felstiner translates...brilliantly."

Paperback
466 pages
W.W. Norton and Company, 2002
6.1 x 0.9 x 9.3 inches
ISBN 9780393322248
Poetry, Postwar

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