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Collected Prose

Paul Celan

Translated by Rosmarie Waldrop

Cover Picture of Collected Prose
Categories: 20th Century, German
Imprint: Fyfield Books
Publisher: Carcanet Press
Available as:
Paperback (68 pages)
(Pub. Apr 2003)
Out of Stock
  • Description
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  • Awards
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  • He taught the Law of Gravity, furnished proof after proof, but people turned deaf ears. Then he took off into the air and, floating there, repeated the lesson. Now people believed. But nobody was surprised when he did not come down again.

    Paul Celan (1920-1970) stands as one of the greatest post-war European poets, a writer whose painful struggle with the possibilities and limitations of German, his native language, has helped to define the response of poetry in the aftermath of the Holocaust.

    Celan's prose is as thought-provoking as, and less familiar than, his poetry. The writings and aphorisms on poetry and art illuminate the sources of his language: he explores the condition of being a stranger in the world, the necessity - and limitation - of discourse, enlarging our understanding of the poet and his vocation. A spare and reluctant prose writer, Celan speaks with a quiet authority that insists on the centrality of poetry in the modern world.

    Rosmarie Waldrop's translation remains true to the poetic rhythms of Celan's prose; her introduction sets the pieces in context.
    Table of Contents

    Introduction - Rosemarie Waldrop

    Edgar Jené and the Dream about the Dream


    [Reply to a Questionnaire from the Flinker Bookstore, Paris, 1958

    Conversation in the Mountains

    [Reply to a Questionnaire from the Flinker Bookstore, Paris, 1961

    [Letter to Hans Bender

    [Reply to a Poll by Der Spiegel
    La poésie ne s'impose plus, elle s'expose


    Speech on the Occasion of Receiving the Literature Prize of the Free Hanseatic City of Bremen

    The Meridian

    [Address to the Hebrew Writers'Association


    Introductory Notes to the Translations of Blok and Mandelstam


    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
    Rosmarie Waldrop
    Rosmarie Waldrop was born in Germany in 1935. A respected translator from French and German, she is also the author of many volumes of poetry and two novels. She has received numerous awards and fellowships, and was made a 'Chevalier des Arts et des Lettres' by the French Government. ... read more
    Awards won by Paul Celan Winner, 1990 European Poetry Translation Prize (Poems of Paul Celan)
    Praise for 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.'
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