Paul Celan

(3053 words)
  • Derek Hillard (Kansas State University)

Paul Celan ranks very high among the lyrical poets writing in German during the later part of the 20th century. His œuvre stands by itself in its inventive and often paradoxical imagery and a poetic voice informed by his Jewishness and the trauma of his time: “Aus den Verzweiflungen wurden Gedichte” [“Desperations became poems”]. He never lived in Germany and remained a cultural expatriate for all his life. When viewed in the context of other poets in his day and since, Celan's work is unique. His poetry has proved daunting to readers and writers alike. Yet for readers interested in encountering the most sophisticated and attentive literary responses to the terror of World War II, in poetry capable of the h…

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Hillard, Derek. "Paul Celan". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 02 May 2005
[, accessed 30 June 2015.]

Articles on Celan's works

  1. Todesfuge [Death Fugue]

Related Groups

  1. Holocaust Literature