The Center for the Humanities
The Graduate Center, City University of New York
Martin E. Segal Theatre
Wed Mar 19, 2014 6:30pm
Paul Celan is usually regarded as the quintessential Holocaust poetâ€”a poet whose mature years were spent in France, but who wrote his poetry, not in French, but in his native Germanâ€”a German he so resented as the language of his oppressors that he had to reinvent it. But what happens when we look at Celanâ€™s poetic language, especially his love lyric, elliptical and oblique as it is, in the context of its actual history and geography? Celan was, after all, not German, but Austrian and received a classical German education, as authorized by the centralized k. & k. (kaiserlich und kÃ¶niglich)government of the Hapsburg Empire. This lecture will reconsider the language of his earlier love poetry, in the light of Celanâ€™s astonishing correspondence with the Austrian poet Ingeborg Bachmann. Join distinguished literary critic Marjorie Perloff as she takes a fresh look at Celanâ€™s poetic practice.
Cosponsored by the Henri Peyre French Institute.