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Breathturn (Green Integer) [Paperback]

By Paul Celan & Pierre Joris (Translator)
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Item description for Breathturn (Green Integer) by Paul Celan & Pierre Joris...

Translated from the German by Pierre Joris—winner of the 2004 PEN Translation Award for Celan’s Lightduress—the is the first of Celan’s three major books of poetry before his death by suicide. Considered by many to be one of Celan’s major writings, Breathturn brilliant reveals the “Wende” or turn of writing.

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Item Specifications...

Pages   289
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 0.75" Width: 4.25" Height: 6"
Weight:   0.5 lbs.
Binding  Softcover
Release Date   May 1, 2006
Publisher   Green Integer
ISBN  193338252X  
ISBN13  9781933382524  

Availability  0 units.

More About Paul Celan & Pierre Joris

Register your artisan biography and upload your photo! Celan was born in Czernowitz, which is now the Ukraine and Romania. He was raised Jewish.

Paul Celan was born in 1920 and died in 1970.

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Product Categories

1Books > Foreign Language Books > German > All German Books
2Books > Subjects > Literature & Fiction > Poetry > General

Reviews - What do customers think about Breathturn (Green Integer)?

Wonderful  Apr 16, 2007
This extraordinary volume of the great Paul Celan marks his `turn,' in the final phase of his career, in which his work grew more abstracted, with more esoteric and wonderful neologisms and curiously primordial imagery.

Pierre Joris has completed a fine translation from the German; the works remain highly creative and retain Celan's remarkable play with structure and phonemes. Look at the creativity:

scooped from you, eyes:

the six-
edged, denial, white,

A blind man's hand, it also starhard
From name-wandering,
Rests on him, as
Long as on you,
Esther." (111).

The tragic undertow of Celan's poetry will pull you in. Enjoy.
"Breath, that means direction and fate..."  Aug 30, 2000
Celan himself described the meaning of the word "breath" that way. And so, the title "Breathturn" indicates clearly what these poems are about: a change, a turning point in Celan's life. When he wrote them in between 1965 and 1967, his mental suffering was already so strong that he went to a psychiatry for half a year.

In spite of that, "Breathturn" might be the most convincing of all of Celan's poetry. At this point, he had completely given up the language of his early poetry that had made him famous - full of images, colours, dark metaphorics - and turned to the "grey language". It is very elusive, and I think I will have to read his later poems very, very often until I get a feeling for them because they are beyond all conventional poetry and can't be interpretated like they use to do it at school. The poems of "Breathturn" are rather short, few lines, few words in them. "Growing dumb" is a central word in this book. Celan did no more trust into language, and so he wanted to concentrate his thoughts and to tell things in a way they have never been told before or that have never been told before at all.

This excellent translation echoes the ice-pure German text.  Jun 7, 1997
Pierre Joris' translation of Paul Celan's _Breathturn_ captures the unique quality of this Jewish exile-poet's work more than any other attempt published to date. In this new English rendering, Celan's crystalline words float through the page with the same clarity and intense focus of mind as in the original texts. The blank page is always present as a timeless mirror reflecting the poet's soul--a mirror on which condenses the dark breath of speech, the alienated and alienating words to which the poet so desperately clings. These difficult, tense and multi-faceted poems are broken open here with a jewel-cutter's skilled grace. The expert translations hauntingly echo the parallel German, resonating so as to remind us that Celan's experience of the world belongs in every language. This scholarly translator has newly introduced a much-needed poet into the English language, and in so doing has enriched our experience of language, literature, and the exiled spirit.

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