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Paul Celan, Nelly Sachs: Correspondence Hardcover – June 1, 1998

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Editorial Reviews

From Library Journal

Celan, though he never lived in Germany, gave German poetry one of its distinctive voices following World War II. Sachs, a generation older than he, escaped from Germany to Sweden prior to the war, continued writing in German, and went on to win the Nobel Prize. Both were transformed by the grief caused by the Nazi experience, which led to the loss of close and dear relatives. Their correspondence, presented in this unique collection of 126 pieces extending over a 16-year period starting in 1954, reveals some sadness but a distinct sense of survivorhood. Sachs's "Chorus of the Orphans" was the trigger that moved Celan to write to her. The exchanges that followed were a testimony to their mutual reverence for, and knowledge of, each other's "things." This first English edition includes an extensive editorial notes section and a chronological table juxtaposing the events of their two lives. A valuable addition to comprehensive literature collections. Recommended for academic and large public libraries.
Ali Houissa, Cornell Univ., Ithaca, N.Y.
Copyright 1995 Reed Business Information, Inc.

Review

"The correspondence includes lovely Sachs poems and interesting accounts of their meeting and of contact with other prominent writers of the time. The introduction and afterword are indispensable, as is the entire book."―Choice
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 126 pages
  • Publisher: Sheep Meadow (June 1, 1998)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1878818376
  • ISBN-13: 978-1878818379
  • Product Dimensions: 0.8 x 6.5 x 9.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,886,921 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on July 8, 2000
Format: Hardcover
A bunch of letters written over 16 years by two nobel-winner poets. It's heartbreaking. Nelly Sachs, "his Li", loved him, no doubt. Her "dearest Paul" was married with a child. It is fascinating to read how two poets process the most common story among people. With tenderness and sadness and so much dignity. And as Nelly Sachs says: "Love is inhuman". This book reveals the sensitivity it takes to write poetry and how this sensitivity marks your every single gesture, making sometimes life to be simply unbearable. "If only I had you here" Nelly Sachs says, and that is what the reader wishes with her. An unfulfilled wish. They met only once and never again. Hard for simple people, even harder for poets. "You are my light" they say to each other and from the third letter she feels he is her home. Did they decrease each others loneliness, or did they make it bigger? It's up to the reader to decide.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By J. G. H. on October 2, 2006
Format: Paperback
If you're familiar with these two poets, you can already appreciate the intensity, sincerity, and uniqueness of their vision and the horror the Shoah forced upon each of them. With that background, the sweetness displayed in this correspondence, especially of Sachs to Celan, is doubly remarkable. Little or no melodrama can be found here, despite the difficulty of life's events in the years covered and the poignancy of the subjects of some of these letters. The well-considered footnotes relay highlights of each writer's biography and explicate their difficult circumstances.

The entire collection spans only a few dozen pages, but is a valuable insight into the lives of these two most consquential German writers. For those unfamiliar with their poetry this correspondence may still be impressive, but if you've read and appreciate either of these writers, this book is worth owning.
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3 of 5 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on July 29, 2000
Format: Hardcover
The book takes the reader through the amazing friendship of these two writers. I found the book to be a wonderful aid while writing my term paper on the works of Nelly Sachs. The book provides a great insight into the lives of these two authors.
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Paul Celan, Nelly Sachs: Correspondence
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