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parsed(2024-08-27) - pubdate: 05/24
pub date: 1724734800
today: 1713243600, pubdate > today = true

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Letters to Gisle

August 27, 2024 | Trade paperback
ISBN: 9781681378305
Reader Reward Price: $21.60 info
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This title will be released on Aug 27, 2024. Pre-order now.


Insightful and provocative letters by a great twentieth-century poet to his artist wife about life and, revealingly, his own writing. An intimate look at this canonical poet's process, mental health, and quotidian moments during the early 1950s.

Paul Celan is recognized as one of the most significant European poets of the second half of the twentieth century. Born in Czernowitz, then part of Romania and now in Ukraine, he survived the Nazi genocide and eventually settled in Paris. His work, a touchstone for other poets, writers, and philosophers, has been translated into many languages. The letters he wrote to his wife, the artist Gisèle Celan-Lestrange, provide an intimate view of key turning points in Celan's literary career as well as of the most difficult moments of his life, spent in psychiatric clinics, during which he continued to write. 
Letters to Gisèle, which also includes letters to his young son, Eric, as well as a selection of Gisèle's own letters, also presents a Celanian sense of humor shared with his wife and son. The reader of this volume will discover or rediscover poems sent by Celan to his wife with word-for-word translations and lists of translated or explained vocabulary words. These materials are made available here for the first time in an English-language publication, which seeks to take into account the secret dialogue between languages within each letter or poem. 

The notes include reproductions of Celan's annotations in the margins of his books, almost giving the impression of looking over the shoulder of the poet as he is reading or writing. The volume also includes photographs of Celan's family and reproductions of manuscripts of poems and letters, as well as a selection of etchings by Gisèle Celan-Lestrange.

About this Author

Paul Celan (1920-1970) was born in Romania to German-speaking Jewish parents. During World War II, his parents were deported to and eventually died in a Nazi concentration camp, and Celan himself was interned for eighteen months. Celan settled in Paris after the war, where he worked as a poet and translator, translating a wide range of works, including poetry by Robert Frost, Emily Dickinson, and Charles Baudelaire. Celan received the 1958 Bremen Prize for German Literature and the 1960 Georg Buchner Prize, and he taught German language and literature at the École Normale Supérieure until his death in 1970.

Jason Kavett is a translator of German literature and an assistant professor of German Studies at Bard College.

Bertrand Badiou is the co-director of the Paul Celan Department at the École normale supérieure in Paris, editor of Celan's works and letters in Germany (Suhrkamp Verlag) and France (Éditions du Seuil). Together with Eric Celan he manages the poet's estate.

ISBN: 9781681378305
Format: Trade paperback
Pages: 416
Publisher: New York Review Books
Published: 2024-08-27

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