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This work explores the troubled relationship and unfinished intellectual dialogue between Paul Celan, regarded by many as the most important European poet after 1945, and Martin Heidegger, perhaps the most influential figure in twentieth-century philosophy. It centers on the persistent ambivalence Celan, a Holocaust survivor, felt toward a thinker who respected him and at times promoted his poetry. Celan, although strongly affected by Heidegger's writings, struggled to reconcile his admiration of Heidegger's ideas on literature with his revulsion at the thinker's Nazi past. That Celan and Heidegger communicated with each other over a number of years, and in a controversial encounter, met in 1967, is well known. The full duration, extent, and nature of their exchanges and their impact on Celan's poetics has been less understood, however. In the first systematic analysis of their relationship between 1951 and 1970, James K. Lyon describes how the poet and the philosopher read and responded to each other's work throughout the period. He offers new information about their interactions before, during, and after their famous 1967 meeting at Todtnauberg. He suggests that Celan, who changed his account of that meeting, may have contributed to misreadings of his poem "Todtnauberg." Finally, Lyon discusses their two last meetings after 1967 before the poet's death three years later. Drawing heavily on documentary material—including Celan's reading notes on more than two dozen works by Heidegger, the philosopher's written response to the poet's "Meridian" speech, and references to Heidegger in Celan's letters—Lyon presents a focused perspective on this critical aspect of the poet's intellectual development and provides important insights into his relationship with Heidegger, transforming previous conceptions of it.

Table of Contents

  1. Cover
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  1. Frontmatter
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  1. Contents
  2. pp. v-vi
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  1. Preface
  2. pp. vii-xii
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  1. 1 The Repulsion and Attraction of Opposites
  2. pp. 1-8
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  1. 2 Approaching Heidegger: Celan Reads Being and Time, 1952–1953
  2. pp. 9-21
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  1. 3 “Connecting” with Heidegger, 1952–1954
  2. pp. 22-30
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  1. 4 Earliest Traces of Heidegger in Celan’s Works, 1953–1954
  2. pp. 31-41
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  1. 5 Celan’s Notebook on What Is Called Thinking and Introduction to Metaphysics, 1954
  2. pp. 42-55
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  1. 6 Doubts Grow and Problems Arise, 1954–1956
  2. pp. 56-67
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  1. 7 More Appropriations from Heidegger: The Principle of Reason, 1957
  2. pp. 68-80
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  1. 8 Drawing on and Withdrawing from Heidegger, 1958
  2. pp. 81-91
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  1. 9 Mounting Cognitive Dissonance, Growing Independence, 1959–1960
  2. pp. 92-107
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  1. 10 Heidegger as Catalyst: Celan Begins to Write His Own Poetics, 1959–1960
  2. pp. 108-121
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  1. 11 The Meridian: An “Implicit Dialogue with Heidegger,” 1960
  2. pp. 122-134
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  1. 12 Descending into the “Loneliest Loneliness,” 1960–1961
  2. pp. 135-145
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  1. 13 The Dialogue Continues: Heidegger Reads Celan’s “Meridian,” 1960–1961
  2. pp. 146-158
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  1. 14 “An Epoch-Making Encounter”: Freiburg and Todtnauberg, 1967
  2. pp. 159-172
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  1. 15 “Todtnauberg” and Its Aftermath, 1967–1968
  2. pp. 173-191
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  1. 16 Heidegger’s Thought and Language in Celan: Similarities, Affinities, Borrowings
  2. pp. 192-201
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  1. 17 Unresolved Contradictions: The Last Years, 1968–1970
  2. pp. 202-214
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  1. 18 A Conclusion of Sorts
  2. pp. 215-218
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  1. Appendix. Celan’s Known Readings of Works by Heidegger
  2. pp. 219-220
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  1. Notes
  2. pp. 221-236
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  1. Works Cited
  2. pp. 237-244
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  1. Index
  2. pp. 245-249
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  1. Illustrations
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Additional Information

ISBN
9780801889134
Related ISBN
9780801883026
MARC Record
OCLC
213305608
Pages
264
Launched on MUSE
2012-01-01
Language
English
Open Access
No
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