Remnants of Song: Trauma and the Experience of Modernity in Charles Baudelaire and Paul Celan

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“This innovative study of the works of Baudelaire and Celan opens a new window on the history of modern identity in western culture.”—Germanic Notes and Reviews

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Overview

“This innovative study of the works of Baudelaire and Celan opens a new window on the history of modern identity in western culture.”—Germanic Notes and Reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"This innovative study of the works of Baudelaire and Celan opens a new window on the history of modern identity in western culture."—Germanic Notes and Reviews
Library Journal
Baer's justification for juxtaposing 19th-century French poet Charles Baudelaire and 20th-century German-language lyricist Paul Celan is that together they symbolize the beginning and the end of what he terms "our modernity" in poetry. Additionally, they are significantly related to each other; Celan directly invokes Baudelaire as a precursor whose lyrics influenced him to meditate and testify to the traumas, shocks, and horrors that he personally experienced as a Holocaust survivor and amply reflected in his poems. In two separate parts, each dedicated to one of the poets, Baer (German, NYU) presents new readings of their work. His literary and sometimes philosophical approach draws on such fields as trauma studies and historical research to analyze Baudelaire's personal take on the agony of everyday life (as expressed in the lyrics of "The Stranger" and "The Flowers of Evil," for instance) and Celan's ordeals during the Holocaust ("Todesfuge," possibly Celan's most famous poem, describes the Jewish experience under Nazism). This is a great addition to literature collections and necessary for all academic libraries. [Baer is an LJ reviewer.--Ed.]--Ali Houissa, Cornell Univ., Ithaca, NY Copyright 2000 Cahners Business Information.\
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780804738262
  • Publisher: Stanford University Press
  • Publication date: 9/28/2000
  • Series: Cultural Memory in the Present Series
  • Edition description: 1
  • Pages: 360
  • Product dimensions: 5.50 (w) x 8.50 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Meet the Author

Ulrich Baer is Assistant Professor of German at New York University. He is the editor of Niemand zeugt für den Zeugen: Erinnerungskultur und historische Verantwortung nach der Shoah [No One Bears Witness for the Witness: The Culture of Memory and Historical Responsibility After the Shoah.

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Table of Contents

List of Illustrations
Note on Editors and Translations
Introduction: On the Margins of Modernity 1
Pt. I The First Modern Poet: Charles Baudelaire
1 The Experience of Freedom 27
2 The Setting of Experience 67
3 Blindness and the Sky 108
Straitening: Poetry of Imposition / Poetics of Exposition 156
Pt. 2 The Last Modern Poet: Paul Celan
4 Laying Language Bare 169
5 Landscape and Memory 211
6 Frames of Experience 256
Conclusion 294
Notes 305
Index 337
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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 11, 2001

    Baer calls for a return to moral virtues

    This is one remarkable book, just the kind of thorough study of Baudelaire and Celan that we need at the present time when so much around us is bleak and terrible, frightening and sinful. If ever there was a time for closing the gap between literary criticism and new age spirituality, then the time is now, and Baer's book is a vital step in that direction. But don't get me wrong - this is a book that can be enjoyed by people of all faiths. Bless you Mr. Baer!!!!

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