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In the immediate aftermath of World War II, Paul Celan moved to Bucharest, where he spent more than two years working as a translator at Carta Rusa publishing house. During that time he was introduced to poet and translator Petre Solomon and began a close friendship that would endure many years, despite the distances that separated them and the turbulent times in which the In the immediate aftermath of World War II, Paul Celan moved to Bucharest, where he spent more than two years working as a translator at Carta Rusa publishing house. During that time he was introduced to poet and translator Petre Solomon and began a close friendship that would endure many years, despite the distances that separated them and the turbulent times in which they lived. In this poignant memoir, Solomon recalls the experiences he shared with Celan and captures the ways in which Bucharest profoundly influenced Celan's evolution as a poet. He recounts the publication of the famous "Todesfuge" for the first time in the Romanian magazine Agora and his fertile connection with the Romanian surrealist movement. Through Solomon's vivid recollection and various letters Celan sent to friends, readers also get an intimate glimpse of Celan's personality, one characterized by a joyful appreciation of friendship and a subtle sense of humor. Translated from the original, Tegla's edition makes this remarkable memoir available to a much-deserved wider audience for the first time.


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In the immediate aftermath of World War II, Paul Celan moved to Bucharest, where he spent more than two years working as a translator at Carta Rusa publishing house. During that time he was introduced to poet and translator Petre Solomon and began a close friendship that would endure many years, despite the distances that separated them and the turbulent times in which the In the immediate aftermath of World War II, Paul Celan moved to Bucharest, where he spent more than two years working as a translator at Carta Rusa publishing house. During that time he was introduced to poet and translator Petre Solomon and began a close friendship that would endure many years, despite the distances that separated them and the turbulent times in which they lived. In this poignant memoir, Solomon recalls the experiences he shared with Celan and captures the ways in which Bucharest profoundly influenced Celan's evolution as a poet. He recounts the publication of the famous "Todesfuge" for the first time in the Romanian magazine Agora and his fertile connection with the Romanian surrealist movement. Through Solomon's vivid recollection and various letters Celan sent to friends, readers also get an intimate glimpse of Celan's personality, one characterized by a joyful appreciation of friendship and a subtle sense of humor. Translated from the original, Tegla's edition makes this remarkable memoir available to a much-deserved wider audience for the first time.

26 review for Paul Celan: The Romanian Dimension

  1. 5 out of 5

    Jonathan

    The Romanian beginnings of Celan’s poetry, and in particular his engagement with the Surrealists, really help shed light on his later work. Essential reading for those of us trying to open Celan’s “message in a bottle”. Also adds a very convincing rebuttal to those (Blanchot et al) who minimise or neglect the fundamentally communicative heart of his work. Absolutely not the Death of the Word. “Even during the years of utmost despair and absolute solitude, Celan continued to hold to the word as The Romanian beginnings of Celan’s poetry, and in particular his engagement with the Surrealists, really help shed light on his later work. Essential reading for those of us trying to open Celan’s “message in a bottle”. Also adds a very convincing rebuttal to those (Blanchot et al) who minimise or neglect the fundamentally communicative heart of his work. Absolutely not the Death of the Word. “Even during the years of utmost despair and absolute solitude, Celan continued to hold to the word as if it were an impossible lifebuoy.”

  2. 4 out of 5

    Octavian

    Highly recommended for any admirer of Paul Celan! Paul Celan was named by many the greatest German-language poet of the postwar era. He was born in a Jewish family in Cernăuți, then in the Kingdom of Romania, now Ukraine. His mother was of German origins and this is one of the reasons he wrote mainly in German. In the years 1946-1947 he lived and worked in Bucharest as a translator from Russian. His birth name was Antschel, but (moving away of his origins) on his translations (Lermontov, A Hero Highly recommended for any admirer of Paul Celan! Paul Celan was named by many the greatest German-language poet of the postwar era. He was born in a Jewish family in Cernăuți, then in the Kingdom of Romania, now Ukraine. His mother was of German origins and this is one of the reasons he wrote mainly in German. In the years 1946-1947 he lived and worked in Bucharest as a translator from Russian. His birth name was Antschel, but (moving away of his origins) on his translations (Lermontov, A Hero of our Time) used the name Paul Ancel. Soon after, on his first poem published in Romania -Todesfuge-in 1947 on 2nd of May in Contemporanul he used the name Paul Celan. As a curiosity this poem was actually translated by Petre Solomon(the author of the book) from German, and not by the author himself. This book should be read along Hertzzeit (correspondence with Ingeborg Bachmann) because it will fill in the gaps. Here you will find out about the events that happened before 1948 (the meeting with Ingeborg) and more details between 1961 and 1967. It also has some of the poems that he wrote in Romanian (left out from other editions). Unfortunately it is the first time when the communist edition is better (it also has the Kafka translations, the full poems, poetry and the correspondence) because after 1990 due to copyright laws and his widow's refuse it had to be truncated. It is very interesting that Bucharest in those years was probably the most culturally active city in the world. In that period Roland Barthes was the cultural attache at The French Institute in Bucharest. Here Gherasim Luca (a great surrealist poet, that committed suicide in a similar way by drowning in the Seine) highly influenced Celan (actually Ingeborg calls him first a surrealist poet). The poetry scene was still under the influence of Ilarie Voronca (that hanged himself in 1946 in Paris), Tristan Tzara (founder of DADA movement, a pen name that actually means Sad in (my) country) and Benjamin Fondane (that died in Auschwitz in 1944). It is interesting that all these five poets with Romanian origins are among the best eighteen of the twentieth century and are studied in Universities around the world. Petre Solomon was his best friend while he lived here, a beautiful friendship that he maintained even after his move to Paris. This book retells all the events in those years. Celan himself remembers this period as his best of his lifetime where he had many friends. (Nina Cassian , Al. Philippide among others) It is very interesting that he sent books periodically to them as Christmas gifts, writing on each a dedication on the first page! For who might interest in Bucharest he lived at the no. 8, Duiliu Zamfirescu street and in a small apartment building on Bitolia street (near Dorobanti Square). He worked on Calea Victoriei in the same building where now is Revista 22. Next I will try to translate (probably for the first time-and most probably not perfectly) one of his Romanian poems: Blinded by giant leaps, Blinded by giant leaps, we've met, travelers through mirages, in renunciation's only kiss. The hour is yesterday's, but it is shown by a third needle, incandescent that I have never seen in the gardens of time- the other two are laying down embraced in the south of the dial. When they'll be parted it will be too late, the weather would be another, the foreign needle will rotate crazy , until will ignite all the hours with a contagious fire and melt them in one number, that in the same time will be hour, season and the twenty-four steps that I'll do in the moment I'll die, then will it jump through the cracked window in the middle of the room, Inviting me to follow and for me to be his companion in a new timepiece that will measure a much broader time. But I, prefer the weather to be measured by sand-glasses...

  3. 5 out of 5

    Manfred H. H.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Andrei Pogorilowski

  5. 4 out of 5

    Ruxandra

  6. 5 out of 5

    Dan Gabriel Ontelus

  7. 5 out of 5

    Mesia Loriana

  8. 5 out of 5

    Lucian Brad

  9. 5 out of 5

    Amalia Cotoi

  10. 4 out of 5

    Dela Iovan

  11. 4 out of 5

    Renan Virginio

  12. 5 out of 5

    Klaus Hensel

  13. 4 out of 5

    Stelian

  14. 5 out of 5

    Christopher

  15. 4 out of 5

    rêveur d'art

  16. 5 out of 5

    Caitlin

  17. 4 out of 5

    Jur

  18. 5 out of 5

    Sam

  19. 5 out of 5

    Michael sinkofcabbages

  20. 4 out of 5

    S̶e̶a̶n̶

  21. 5 out of 5

    Emilie

  22. 4 out of 5

    cara

  23. 4 out of 5

    Martina

  24. 4 out of 5

    Actæon:

  25. 5 out of 5

    Robert Cojocaru

  26. 5 out of 5

    Cris

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