Universitatea Transilvania din Brașov, Facultatea de Litere
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7 / 2018
Paul Celan – Beyond Oblivion. From Mittel-European Czernowitz to Universal Poetry
Originally belonging to a regional literature, but one that was nevertheless perfectly synchronised with the rest of the European Modernity, Paul Celan is the poet of two worlds. Formed into the multiethnic, cosmopolitan atmosphere of the city of Czernowitz, he had, thanks to his exceptional knowledge of the German language (alongside French and Romanian), the chance of a European destiny. Thus, he is the poet of a cultural synthesis as well as one of an exceptional poetic elaboration that outlives his times and overcomes the traumas of history.
Paul Celan’s poetic imagery and his refined verse consecrated him as a major poet, one with a reflective consciousness dramatically anchored in the pursuit of the poetic logos, as well as an important humanistic voice, one that paved the way for the poets of a new and valuable generation (with Helmut Heissenbüttel, Ingeborg Bachmann, Hans Magnus Enzensberger amongst its members).
The cultural retrieval of this poet is not only due to the necessity of remembering the importance of his work as a poet and as a translator, but mostly it is due to the historical imperatives which reveal to us that, one hundred years ago, Bukovina’s multiculturalism represented an invariant of the free, liberal spirit seen as an expression of the universality of the small and marginal cultures which, nonetheless, played a catalyzing, innovative or experimental role on the scene of the European Nodernity.
Keywords: Paul Celan, Central European Modernity, expressionism, surrealism, trauma, remembrance, Eros, Thanatos.