Vanishing Point

For those of you that enjoyed the speech, but were having a bit of trouble tracking down the reference to Celan’s poem, here’s a collection of Celan’s poetry. The poem that Knausgaard refers to is on page 57, translated as “The Straitening.” It was Celan’s rewrite of his earlier, and most famous work “Todesfugue,” (which is also collected, translated as “Fugue of Death” on page 33 of the pdf) in response to Adorno’s criticism that “writing poetry after Auschwitz is barbaric”. See for yourself if you agree with Knausgaard’s interpretation of Celan. Word of warning, both poems are a reaction to the Holocaust; so, not beach reading.

Paul Celan: Selected Poems


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