Select­ed Poems and Prose of Paul Celan

Paul Celan
  • From the Publisher
March 31, 2016

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” (“Deathfugue”), 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 death­bring­ing 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.”

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