Acasă Articole RTR Poeticile memoriei la Paul Celan și George Steiner: literatura și culpa supraviețuitorului

Poeticile memoriei la Paul Celan și George Steiner: literatura și culpa supraviețuitorului

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The Poetics of Memory for Paul Celan and George Steiner: Literature and Survivor’s Guilt

Abstract: Both Paul Celan’s and George Steiner’s writings deal with the relationship between culture and barbarism; both originate in a terrible guilt of the survivor. In Paul Celan’s case, it is the guilt of surviving his own parents, exterminated in an internment camp in the Transnistria Governorate in 1942. In Steiner’s case, when he was 11 years old and on a vacation with his family in New York, his father decided that they would not return to Paris, but remain in the United States; in a few weeks, the Nazi army would occupy Paris; of Steiner’s Jewish colleagues at his elite high school in the 16th arrondissement of Paris, only one would survive (besides Steiner himself). In an autobiographical essay published in 1965 in Commentary, “A Kind of Survivor,” Steiner states directly: “I am a survivor, and not intact.” The Holocaust’s traumatic memory imbues every line in Celan’s poetry and every sentence in Steiner’s scholarly books – long before Holocaust studies became an academic discipline (he has done enormously himself in this respect). The present article documents traces of this fundamental trauma both in Celan’s poetry and in Steiner’s academic and autobiographic writing.

Keywords: George Steiner, Paul Celan, Holocaust Studies, literature and survival, culture and barbarism, survivor’s guilt, poetics of memory

Citation suggestion: Vancu, Radu. “Poeticile memoriei la Paul Celan și George Steiner: literatura și culpa supraviețuitorului” Transilvania, no. 11-12 (2021): 81-84.

https://doi.org/10.51391/trva.2021.11-12.12.

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