Speechgrille — A Celan Poem for World Poetry Day

Yesterday I finished reworking my translation of Paul Celan’s poem “Speechgrille |Sprachgitter,” from the eponymous 1959 volume. Let me offer it here on World Poetry Day (as — rare occasion! — a second post on the same day on Nomadics blog). I will also add my commentary which takes off from Barbara Wiedemann’s in her German edition of The Collected Poems of Paul Celan. This translation will be published … Read more Speechgrille — A Celan Poem for World Poetry Day

Paul Celan: “An hour, lapped up by wolves”

An excerpt from Microliths They are, Little Stones (the Collected Posthumous Prose) by Paul Celan, translated by Pierre Joris [This is one of Celan’s rare forays into prose/fiction & dates most likely from the early fifties.]   121 An hour, lapped up by wolves — in these parts one knows all too well what that means. Grey, wolf-grey it creeps up, unnoticed it sneaks up on you, crouches behind a last, halting … Read more Paul Celan: “An hour, lapped up by wolves”

Rosa Luxemburg & Karl Liebknecht: Murdered 100 Years Ago Today — & Paul Celan’s Poem “You Lie.”

Her corpse was found only 4 months after her assassination, in the Landwehrkanal in Berlin where her murderers had thrown her on January 15 1919. The place is memorialized by a sculpture (you’ll see at the end of the video below). She was shot together with Karl Liebknecht (whose body was delivered anonymously to a morgue) — the two being socialists (& the founders of the Spartacus League) during the … Read more Rosa Luxemburg & Karl Liebknecht: Murdered 100 Years Ago Today — & Paul Celan’s Poem “You Lie.”

Celan the Aphorist

Over the last two year it has been a great pleasure to work on & off at translating Paul Celan’s unpublished miscellaneous prose works that were gathered some years ago by Barbara Wiedemann and Bertrand Badiou in the volume Mikrolithen sinds, Steinchen (Microliths these are, little Stones [Pebbles]). Having put the work on the proverbial backburner for some six months, I am now in the process of pulling it out again & going … Read more Celan the Aphorist

Thoughts on Osip Mandelstam’s Birthday

A birthday that happened 125 years ago today… & still I can’t find an English translation that satisfies me completely. Most of them feel more or less flat, with Mandelstam turned into a most salon-fähig lyrical poet of medium to low intensity. (Oddly enough this is true especially of those translations extolled by Joseph Brodsky, someone who should have know, as he was a native Russian who wound up writing in English, … Read more Thoughts on Osip Mandelstam’s Birthday

YOKO TAWADA: CELAN READS JAPANESE

from: The White Review: A fascinating reflection on Celan and translation from Yōko Tawada, a Japanese writer currently living in Berlin, Germany who writes in both Japanese and German. I missed the piece when it first cam out in 2013, but very happy to have come across it now. Opening paras below, then click on “here.” THERE ARE SOME WHO CLAIM THAT ‘GOOD’ LITERATURE IS ACTUALLY untranslatable.  Before I could read … Read more YOKO TAWADA: CELAN READS JAPANESE

ALTA National Translation Award to “Breathturn into Timestead”

This just in from ALTA. I am obviously overjoyed, though unhappily I couldn’t be in Tucson for the occasion: NTA Winner in Poetry: Breathturn into Timestead by Paul Celan, translated from the German by Pierre Joris Posted on October 30, 2015 by rcldaum The National Translation Award (NTA), given by the American Literary Translators Association (ALTA) at our conference, is the oldest prize for a work of literary translation. This year, … Read more ALTA National Translation Award to “Breathturn into Timestead”

2015 National Translation Award Longlist in Poetry!

Happy to announce that my Paul Celan – Breathturn into Timestead made the ALTA longlist! Posted on July 15, 2015 by Erica Mena The American Literary Translators Association is pleased to announce the 12-title longlists for the 2015 National Translation Awards in Poetry and Prose. Prose Longlist here! This is the seventeenth year for the NTA, which is administered by the American Literary Translators Association (ALTA), and the first … Read more 2015 National Translation Award Longlist in Poetry!