Paul Celan in North London

The BBC has just broadcast a 30 minute segment by Toby Litt who investigates what brought the poet Paul Celan to an ordinary North London street in the late 1960s, and why he chose to write a poem about the experience. Check it out here where it is available until 26 October.

Meridian Czernowitz

From the Ukarainian paper The Day, here the opening paras of an article on the Czernowitz / Chernivtsi Poetry Festival in honor of Paul Celan: Chernivtsi’s poetic meridian By Maria TOMAK, The Day “Chernivtsi, located midway between Kyiv and Bucharest, the Crimea and Odesa, has always been a secret capital of Europe, where sidewalks were swept with bouquets of roses, and there were more bookstores than bakeries,” reads the … Read more Meridian Czernowitz

The Meridian—Paul Celan

While spending much of the weekend correcting the page proofs of my translation of Paul Celan—The Meridian: Final Version-Drafts-Materials forthcoming in the eponymous collection directed by Werner Hamacher at Stanford University Press, I noticed that the book is already available for pre-ordering from Amazon. Here is the publisher’s description of the book: Originally presented as a speech to the German Academy for Language and Poetry on the occasion of … Read more The Meridian—Paul Celan

Celan, Goethe, Hahneman, Handke and more.

Skimming the Franfurter Allgemeine Zeitung of 10.07.2010 (and then having to buy 2 of the articles for € 2 each — i.e. basically the price of the whole Sunday Times here in NYC) — I came across these bits which may be of interest: — What do a JS Bach receipt for 32 cents (well, groschen) for piano-rental, a batch of letters from Goethe to Legationsrat Falk, a hitherto … Read more Celan, Goethe, Hahneman, Handke and more.

40 Years Ago: Paul Celan

In late spring 1970, Gisèle Celan-Lestrange, estranged wife of the poet Paul Celan, wrote to the Austrian poet Ingeborg Bachmann, an early love and life-long friend of the poet’s: “In the night from Monday to Tuesday, 19 to 20 April, he left his apartment, never to return… ” (Bachmann-Celan Correspondence, p. 197). This makes today the fortieth anniversary of Paul Celan’s death. He left the (very noisy, as he … Read more 40 Years Ago: Paul Celan

Lambert Schlechter's "Literary Miniature" of Paul Celan

This morning my good friend, the Luxembourg writer Lambert Schlechter, sent via facebook a small text from his “Literary Miniatures” series as a parallel or coincident response to my Celan translation posted here yesterday. Here is Lambert’s text in my quick translation. This is #2 in the series: PAUL CELAN In 1948, Marie-Luise Kaschnitz resides for a time at the abbey of Royaumont in the company of other authors: … Read more Lambert Schlechter's "Literary Miniature" of Paul Celan

A Celan Poem

For the pleasure of this cold, clear Monday morning, the poem “Mit allen Gedanken” by Paul Celan from his volume Die Niemandsrose. It has been my pleasure to spend some time with this work just now, englishing it. PC himself referred to it (after someone’s misreading) as a love poem for Gisèle, & therefore the etching by Gisèle-Lestrange above, though that dates from a later series. (Still unable to … Read more A Celan Poem

On Banat Literature

An interesting essay on minority writers (specifically Romanian-German writers) by Richard Wagner, originally from Romania, now living in Berlin, and once married to Herta Mueller, in today’s  Neue Züricher Zeitung (German article complete, here). Below three paragraphs from the piece in my hasty translation: The unrecognized periphery is fascinated by the middle, a center that shows its ignorance of the periphery in a quasi offensive manner. It says, I … Read more On Banat Literature

Two or Three Things that have come my Way

Recently came across a new online internationalist — thus translation — oriented magazine, Cerise Press, edited & published between the US and France. Check it out — I am of course immediately very taken by Charlotte Mandell’s translation of Abdelwahab Meddeb‘s The Stranger Across, but also fascinated by Tony Brinkley & Raina Kostova‘s translations of Osip Mandelshtam — to me, the most difficult of the Russian poets to bring … Read more Two or Three Things that have come my Way