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James K. Lyon. Paul Celan and Martin Heidegger. An Unresolved Conversation, 1951 – 1970. Baltimore: The Johns Hopkins University Press, 2006. [Book Review]

By Robert Savage (3988922)


It is a sign of the current vogue – or, perhaps better, mystique –attached to the names of Celan and Heidegger in the U.S. academy that the present study, essentially a well-executed piece of philological spade-work, should be appearing under the imprint of one of the more illustrious university presses. Which is not to suggest that the book is undeserving of publication: Lyon sifts through the available evidence with admirable thor-oughness, discovering a proto-Heideggerian poetics in Celan’s early essay “The Dream of a Dream”; lingering over the copious squiggles, marginalia and underlinings in Celan’s copies of the philosopher’s books, many of them personally inscribed to him by the author; rereading the central document of their “unresolved conversation”, the much-discussed poem ‘Todtnauberg’, in the light of eyewitness reports of their seminal 1967 encounter at the philosopher’s hillside chalet; and pondering the significance of the fascination that Heidegger’s thought continued to exert on Celan as he descended ever deeper into mental illness

Topics: Literary Studies not elsewhere classified, Heidegger, Celan, James K. Lyon
Year: 2017
DOI identifier: 10.4225/03/59212c2c6a590
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Provided by: FigShare
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