Paul Celan, Gisèle Celan-Lestrange


Edited and annotated by B. Badiou and E. Celan | French original published by Éditions du Seuil
(German title: Briefwechsel)
ca. 1208 pages
Paul Celan
Foto: Paul Celan
© Wolfgang Oschatz

Paul Celan was born in Czernowitz in 1920 and passed away in Paris in April 1970. He is internationally recognized as one of the most important authors of the twentieth century.

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Spanish world rights (Siruela), Netherlands (Arbeiderspers)


The 677 documents of this correspondence from the years 1951 – 1970 are a unique testimony. Paul Celan, a poet of great discretion, opens up here in the most private of his relationships. In conjunction with the annotation, the creation and the background of many of his poems are brought to life vividly. In addition, his relationship to Germany, that country that remains so strange to him on his travels despite his German mother tongue, is made accessible.

At the same time, these letters document the biography of the artist Gisèle Celan-Lestrange; they sketch her artistic growth from the beginnings as a paintress to her important graphic works and the cooperation with Paul Celan. What is also made vivid are the desperate phases of this marriage, Celan’s breakdowns and hospitalisations, the renewal of hope and the care for their son Eric, which they shared until the end despite all separations.

Apart from the correspondence, this edition contains a selection of Celan’s letters to his son as well as supplementary documents. The first volume of letters is made accesible by a second volume of afterwords, elaborate annotations, an extensive timetable, bibliographies and indexes.

Other publications

Die Gedichte/Poems (2018)

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Herzzeit/Herzzeit (2008)

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English world rights (Seagull), Spanish world rights (Fondo Cultura), Portuguese rights (Antígona), Chinese simplex rights (China Renmin UP), Russia (Ad marginem), France (Seuil), Italy (Nottetempo), Netherlands (Meulenhoff), Denmark (Vandkunsten), Sweden (Ellerströms), Japan (Seidosha), Poland (A5), Czech Republic (Pulchra), Romania (Art), Croatia (OceanMore), Turkey (Kirmizi Kedi), Ukraine (Knihy XXI), Georgia (Ibis), Israel (Hakibbutz Hameuchad)

Briefwechsel/Correspondence (1993)

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English world rights (Sheap Meadow Press), Spanish world rights (Trotta), France (Belin), Italy (Giuntina), Japan (Seiji Biblos), Sweden (Ellerströms), Israel (Keshev)