By James K. Lyon

This paintings explores the afflicted dating and unfinished highbrow discussion among Paul Celan, seemed by means of many because the most crucial eu poet after 1945, and Martin Heidegger, might be the main influential determine in twentieth-century philosophy. It facilities at the chronic ambivalence Celan, a Holocaust survivor, felt towards a philosopher who revered him and every now and then promoted his poetry. Celan, even if strongly tormented by Heidegger's writings, struggled to reconcile his admiration of Heidegger's principles on literature along with his revulsion on the thinker's Nazi previous. That Celan and Heidegger communicated with one another over a few years, and in a arguable come upon, met in 1967, is widely known. the entire period, quantity, and nature in their exchanges and their influence on Celan's poetics has been much less understood, however.

In the 1st systematic research in their dating among 1951 and 1970, James ok. Lyon describes how the poet and the thinker learn and answered to every other's paintings during the interval. He deals new information regarding their interactions earlier than, in the course of, and after their recognized 1967 assembly at Todtnauberg. He means that Celan, who replaced his account of that assembly, could have contributed to misreadings of his poem "Todtnauberg." ultimately, Lyon discusses their final conferences after 1967 earlier than the poet's dying 3 years later.

Drawing seriously on documentary material—including Celan's examining notes on greater than dozen works through Heidegger, the philosopher's written reaction to the poet's "Meridian" speech, and references to Heidegger in Celan's letters—Lyon offers a centred point of view in this severe element of the poet's highbrow improvement and gives very important insights into his dating with Heidegger, remodeling past conceptions of it.


Lyon succeeds in providing the categorical and implicit relation among the key thinker and the main tough poet of twentieth-century Europe, Martin Heidegger and Paul Celan, with a lot sound and unique scholarship and plentiful assurance of what was once already identified. He offers a whole chronological and topical photo of the philosophical, poetic, and private concerns that either bind and distance the 2 males, whereas whilst, finally letting the reader make a decision the right way to check their an important dating. in attaining this, he rectifies the overly tilted anti-Heidegger view that has prevailed.

(John Felstiner, Stanford University)

Lyon's examine is a radical and convincingly argued study... person who will absolutely give you the foundation for destiny experiences of the connection among the poet Celan and the thinker Heidegger.

(Mark Grzeskowiak Seminar: magazine of Germanic Studies)

Lyon's scholarship all through is thorough, and good accumulated during this readable account.

(Richard Hamilton Philosophy in overview)

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Additional info for Paul Celan and Martin Heidegger: An Unresolved Conversation, 1951-1970

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Writing poetry while struggling financially as a translator had left him feeling unrecognized and unappreciated, and his isolation in Paris did nothing to reinforce his sense of self-worth as a poet. Various passages he read and marked confirmed his own views on the importance of his writing. In one account of poetry, which Heidegger variously called by the general term Dichtung in the broader Greek meaning of “poetry,” that is, imaginative creation of the highest order, or the more specific Poesie, meaning lyric poetry, Celan entered a line down the entire margin of page 60, where, among other things, the author advocated the primacy of “Dichtung” among the art forms.

Der in die nachkommende Sprachwissenschaft übergangene und grundsätzlich heute noch maßgebende Grundbestand der “Bedeutungskategorien” ist an der Rede als Aussage orientiert. Nimmt man dagegen dieses Phänomen in der grundsätzlichen Ursprünglichkeit und Weite eines Existenzials, dann ergibt sich die Notwendigkeit einer Umlegung der Sprachwissenschaft auf ontologisch ursprünglichere Fundamente] (G 2:220) From his markings it is clear that Celan followed the subsequent argument closely and apparently approvingly.

For him, “truth” had to be established in temporality and with reference to specific times, places, events, and persons. ” Heidegger on Death, and Celan’s Dead While reading Being and Time, the poet came across another topic that had preoccupied him since his early years—death. It is evident that in dealing with this topic, his responses were conditioned by his Jewishness and by recent German history. Beginning in section 48, Celan carefully followed Heidegger’s text as he attempted to understand how one “gain[s] an existential conception of death” (Die Gewinnung eines existenzialen Begriffes vom Tode, G 2:316), a phrase the poet underlined.

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