Jean Daive's Memoir of Paul Celan

daive def copyTaking a break from translating the Meridian variorum, and more specifically from proofing the Mandelstam section (see Wednesday’s post) I check out the Belgian online litmag alligatorzine, and come across Rosmarie Waldrop’s translation of French poet Jean Daive‘s slow, careful memoir of Paul Celan, Under the Dome: Walks with Paul Celan, (the whole memoir will be the next Série d’Ecriture volume, due out in October from Burning Deck) where I read this:

The sky is clouding over. He gets up. Shakes my hand.
— Come see me Saturday. Can you work this Sunday? We’ll spend the afternoon together. I’d like to read ”Und mit dem Buch aus Tarussa” with you.

He takes my arm and pushes me into the Rue de l’Odéon, toward the Luxembourg.
— I once received a strange parcel addressed to me in Cyrillic script. As I took it I knew it would play a great role in my life. The parcel came from the USSR. It contained books and an anthology. A road opened for translating Mandelstam and others. Come Saturday and Sunday. We’ll read “Tarussa” together.

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6 opinions on “Jean Daive's Memoir of Paul Celan”

  1. That sounds fantastic, I can’t wait to read it. And I still haven’t got copies of Pierre Joris’ translations, though I must. I’ve got (and thoroughly read) both the Hamburger and Felstiner volumes, and Felsteiner’s biography, and drank them, like water.

    “Licht war. Rettung.”

  2. Great to hear that Rosmarie has been translating Daive’s memoir of Celan. It is an extraordinary work. The word “haunting” has become stale with misuse and overuse, but that is exactly how I was struck by Daive’s book when I first read it years back.

    Thanks too, as ever, for all posts.

  3. The Waldrop translations is out! Received a copy yesterday, started reading it today. It’s the kind of genre-bending memoir/lit crit/poem you don’t see often enough.

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