Paul Celan's Encounters with Surrealism
Trauma, Translation and Shared Poetic Space

Charlotte Ryland

Legenda (General Series)

Legenda

12 April 2010  •  216pp

ISBN: 978-1-906540-77-7 (hardback)  •  RRP £75, $99, €85

ISBN: 978-1-351193-55-9 (Taylor & Francis ebook)

ModernFrenchGermanPoetry


Paul Celan (1920-1970), one of the most important and challenging poets in post-war Europe, was also a prolific and highly idiosyncratic translator. His post-Holocaust writing is inextricably linked to the specific experiences that have shaped contemporary European and American identity, and at the same time has its roots in literary, philosophical and scientific traditions that range across continents and centuries – surrealism being a key example. Celan's early works emerge from a fruitful period for surrealism, and they bear the marks of that style, not least because of the deep affinity he felt with the need to extend the boundaries of expression. In this comparative and intertextual study, Charlotte Ryland shows that this interaction continued throughout Celan’s lifetime, largely through translation of French surrealist poems, and that Celan’s great oeuvre can thus be understood fully only in the light of its interaction with surrealist texts and artworks, which finally gives rise to a wholly new poetics of translation.

Charlotte Ryland is Lecturer in German at St Hugh’s College and The Queen’s College, Oxford.

Reviews:

  • ‘A stimulating development in Celan scholarship. It heralds the arrival of a significant new contributor to UK studies of European poetry and cultural history.’ — Ruth J. Owen, Modern Language Review 106.3, 2011, 923-24 (full text online)
  • ‘What emerges from Ryland’s excellent book is more than just another answer to the question of literary influence. Rather, Ryland demonstrates through her extremely close reading of Celan’s translations of surrealist poems how Celan’s own poetic concerns shaped and transformed those poems... A valuable addition not only to the literature on Celan and surrealism but on Celan’s poetics of communication.’ — Helmut Schmitz, Journal of Modern Jewish Studies 10.3, 2011, 439-41
  • ‘In this important book, which will be of interest to teachers and scholars of Paul Celan, Surrealism, and poetics, Charlotte Ryland... makes a compelling case that Celan’s engagement with Surrealism played a key and lasting role in the formation of his thought.’ — Susan H. Gillespie, German Quarterly 85.1, Winter 2012, 98-99
  • ‘A fascinating study of the position of Celan’s poetry in relation to his lived and textual reality.’ — Catriona Firth and Sara Jones, The Year's Work in Modern Language Studies 72 (survey year 2010), 2012, 452
  • ‘If ever there were a case for bilingual editions, then, as Ryland so persuasively shows us, Celan’s translations of surrealist poetry make it, through their uncanny engagements with the originals in times that, for Celan, became ever darker... With Ryland’s study, we can return to that particular encounter with a renewed sense of the richness not only of Celan’s own poetry, but also of his activities as a translator of the highest order.’ — Shane Weller, Translation and Literature 21.3 (November 2012), 430-35

Bibliography entry:

Ryland, Charlotte, Paul Celan's Encounters with Surrealism: Trauma, Translation and Shared Poetic Space (Cambridge: Legenda, 2010)

First footnote reference: 35 Charlotte Ryland, Paul Celan's Encounters with Surrealism: Trauma, Translation and Shared Poetic Space (Cambridge: Legenda, 2010), p. 21.

Subsequent footnote reference: 37 Ryland, p. 47.

(To see how these citations were worked out, follow this link.)

Bibliography entry:

Ryland, Charlotte. 2010. Paul Celan's Encounters with Surrealism: Trauma, Translation and Shared Poetic Space (Cambridge: Legenda)

Example citation: ‘A quotation occurring on page 21 of this work’ (Ryland 2010: 21).

Example footnote reference: 35 Ryland 2010: 21.

(To see how these citations were worked out, follow this link.)


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