Paul Celan, Nelly Sachs: Correspondence


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.
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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.
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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"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
Library Journal
Celan, though he never lived in Germany, gave German poetry one of its distinctive voices following World War II. Sachs, a generation older than he, escaped from Germany to Sweden prior to the war, continued writing in German, and went on to win the Nobel Prize. Both were transformed by the grief caused by the Nazi experience, which led to the loss of close and dear relatives. Their correspondence, presented in this unique collection of 126 pieces extending over a 16-year period starting in 1954, reveals some sadness but a distinct sense of survivorhood. Sachs's "Chorus of the Orphans" was the trigger that moved Celan to write to her. The exchanges that followed were a testimony to their mutual reverence for, and knowledge of, each other's "things." This first English edition includes an extensive editorial notes section and a chronological table juxtaposing the events of their two lives. A valuable addition to comprehensive literature collections. Recommended for academic and large public libraries.-Ali Houissa, Cornell Univ., Ithaca, N.Y.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781878818713
  • Publisher: Sheep Meadow Press, The
  • Publication date: 7/1/1998
  • Pages: 126
  • Product dimensions: 5.90 (w) x 8.90 (h) x 0.40 (d)

Meet the Author

PAUL CELAN was born Paul Ancel of a Jewish family in Romania in 1920. In 1942 his parents were deported and died in an extermination camp. Celan escaped but was in a labour camp until 1944. In 1948 he settled in Paris, where he took up the study of German literature and became a lecturer at the École Normale Supérieur. Paris remained his home until his suicide by drowning in 1970.

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Read an Excerpt

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
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Table of Contents

Edgar Jene and the Dream about the Dream 3
Backlight 11
[Reply to a Questionnaire from the Flinker Bookstore, Paris, 1958] 15
Conversation in the Mountains 17
[Reply to a Questionnaire from the Flinker Bookstore, Paris, 1961] 23
[Letter to Hans Bender] 25
[Reply to a Poll by Der Spiegel] 27
La poesie ne s'impose plus, elle s'expose 29
Speech on the Occasion of Receiving the Literature Prize of the Free Hanseatic City of Bremen 33
The Meridian 37
[Address to the Hebrew Writers' Association] 57
Introductory Notes to the Translations of Blok and Mandelstam 61
Sources 65
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