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Correspondence

Paul Celan and Nelly Sachs

Edited by Barbara Wiedemann

Translated by Christopher Clark

Correspondence
RRP: GBP£ 14.95
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Hardback
ISBN: 978 1 878818 37 9
Categories: 20th Century, German
Imprint: Sheep Meadow Press
Published: May 2011
241 x 165 x 15 mm
114 pages
Publisher: Carcanet Press
  • Description
  • Excerpt
  • Authors
  • Contents
  • Awards
  • Reviews
  • 'Divide yourself night
    both your irradiated wings
    tremble with horror
    for I will go
    and bring you back the bloody evening'

                                          from Nelly Sachs's last letter to Paul Celan
    Here are the letters between Nelly Sachs (1891–1970), recipient of the 1966 Nobel Prize for Literature, and the great German-speaking poet Paul Celan (1920–1970). Their correspondence lasted from 1954 until Celan's death by suicide. Sachs died the day Celan was buried.

    What Paul Celan once said of his mother tongue holds as well for Nelly Sachs: 'Reachable, near and not lost, there remained amid the losses this one thing: language. It, the language, remained, not lost, yes in spite of everything. But it had to pass through its own answerlessness, pass through frightful muting, pass through the thousand darknesses of death bringing speech.' Sachs put it this way: 'The frightful experiences that brought me to the edge of death and darkness are my tutors. If I couldn't have written, I wouldn't have survived...my metaphors are my wounds.'
    Contents:


    Introduction  
    Correspondence
    Editorial
    Editor's Notes to the Letters  
    Annotated Index of Names     
    Chronology  

    Paul Celan
    Paul Celan (1920–1970) was born Paul Antschel into a Jewish family in Bukovina, a German enclave in Romania which was destroyed by the Nazis. His parents were taken to a concentration camp in 1942, and did not return; Celan managed to escape deportation and to survive. After settling in Paris in ... read more
    Nelly Sachs
    Nelly Sachs, poet and playwright, was born in Berlin in 1891. Her first poems were published in 1929. In 1940 she and her mother fled to Sweden, where she was granted nationality in 1952. Her correspondence with Paul Celan began in 1954. In 1966, the year before she died, she ... read more
    Awards won by Paul Celan Winner, 1990 European Poetry Translation Prize (Poems of Paul Celan)
    'The correspondence includes lovely Sachs poems and interesting accounts of their meeting and of contact with other prominent writers of the time. The introduction and afterword are indispensable, as is the entire book.'
    Choice
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