Paul Celan

Paul Celan (pôl sālŏn), pseud. of Paul Antschel (änt´shschwa;l), 1920–70, Romanian-French poet. Although he spent his early years in Romania and his later years in France, Celan wrote in German and is widely considered the greatest postwar poet in Europe. A Jew, who lost both parents in a Nazi camp, he composed works that focus on the moral horror of the Holocaust and the destruction of the world as he knew it, as in his most famous poem, "Deathfugue." Celan was strongly influenced by Friedrich Hölderlin, Rainer Maria Rilke, Georg Trakl, and Osip Mandelstam. Frequently dissonant and freighted with pain, his poems are richly allusive and complicated. Celan was also a masterful translator of such authors as Shakespeare, Valéry, and Dickinson. He lived in Paris from 1948 until his suicide by drowning.

See the collection of his critical essays, ed. by A. Fioretos (1993); translations of his work by J. Neugroschel (1971), M. Hamburger (1988), N. Popov and H. McHugh (2000), J. Felstiner (2001), and P. Joris (2001); biography by I. Chalfen (1979; tr. 1991); J. Feltsiner, Paul Celan: Poet, Survivor, Jew (1995).

The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright© 2018, The Columbia University Press.

Paul Celan: Selected full-text books and articles

Sovereignties in Question: The Poetics of Paul Celan By Jacques Derrida; Thomas Dutoit; Outi Pasanen Fordham University Press, 2005
Judeities: Questions for Jacques Derrida By Bettina Bergo; Joseph Cohen; Raphael Zagury-Orly; Bettina Bergo; Michael B. Smith Fordham University Press, 2007
Five Poems by Paul Celan By Celan, Paul Parnassus : Poetry in Review, Vol. 25, No. 1/2, January 1, 2001
Celan's Universality By Hallberg, Robert von Michigan Quarterly Review, Vol. 45, No. 2, Spring 2006
"Speak, You Also": On Derrida's Readings of Paul Celan By Foti, Veronique M Mosaic (Winnipeg), Vol. 39, No. 3, September 2006
PEER-REVIEWED PERIODICAL
Peer-reviewed publications on Questia are publications containing articles which were subject to evaluation for accuracy and substance by professional peers of the article's author(s).
The Washing of the World, the Washing of the World: Paul Celan and the Language of Sanctification By Hawkins, Beth Shofar, Vol. 20, No. 4, Summer 2002
PEER-REVIEWED PERIODICAL
Peer-reviewed publications on Questia are publications containing articles which were subject to evaluation for accuracy and substance by professional peers of the article's author(s).
Celan, the Poet of Painful Yahrzeit By Piercy, Marge Midstream, Vol. 48, No. 7, November-December 2002
Paul Celan and Yehuda Amichai: An Exchange between Two Great Poets By Felstiner, John Midstream, Vol. 53, No. 1, January-February 2007
Icons of Devastation: The Poetry of Paul Celan By Griffiths, Paul J Commonweal, Vol. 142, No. 14, September 11, 2015
Poet of Anguish By Stern, Fred The World and I, Vol. 22, No. 11, November 2007
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