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Sinnfindung „nur da, wo ich strauchle und falle“ Beitrag

Zur Poetik Paul Celans in seinem Brief an Ludwig von Ficker vom 5. Februar 1951

Martin Stern

Germanisch-Romanische Monatsschrift, Volume 70 (2020), Issue 1, Page 85 - 90

The following essay is a ‘close reading’. It tries to understand one of the rare poetological statements of Paul Celan. I focus on the introduction of a four page letter to the Austrian Ludwig von Ficker, benefactor of Georg Trakl and editor of the periodical ‚Der Brenner‘ in Innsbruck. In 1951, Celan was in Paris trying to find an editor for his poems and hoping to renew a friendly relationship begun some two years earlier before leaving Austria. The text of this letter has never been thoroughly studied. And yet it seems to be one of the rare utterings of the poet about his difficult situation as a Jewish author, feeling the strong impulse to produce poems in the language of the murderers.


„Wege dorthin“ Beitrag

Intertextualität und Sinnkonstitution in Paul Celans Gedicht À LA POINTE ACÉRÉE

Martin Stern

Germanisch-Romanische Monatsschrift, Volume 66 (2017), Issue 4, Page 459 - 465

The following essasy is an attempt towards a new understanding of Paul Celan’s poem À LA POINTE ACÉRÉE, published in his forth volume of poems, ‚Die Niemandsrose‘, in 1963. Unlike former attempts it tries to use its title as a guide. This title was borrowed from Baudelaire, but Baudelaire’s formula “la pointe acérée de l’infini” was longer. Celan gave his shortened version the function of a dedication, which means he dedicated his poem to the “steely head” of a tool. With this in mind we can perhaps find a new understanding of the main field of metaphors in Celan’s poem. They deal with the breaking open of rocks and crystals, the uncovering of ore and metals, but also of memories, that is memories of the fate of Judaism, of concentration camps and death. As Baudelaire’s “steely head” helps the miner to excavate minerals and metals, the sharpened words of the poem may help to dig up and preserve the memory of the millions of people who died in the Shoa.


Ein ungelöstes Rätsel in Annette von Droste-Hülshoffs spätem Gedicht ‚Durchwachte Nacht’ Beitrag

Martin Stern

Germanisch-Romanische Monatsschrift, Volume 62 (2012), Issue 1, Page 93 - 97

This essay focuses on Annette von Droste-Hülshoff’s poem Durchwachte Nacht, first published in 1846. Although the poem has often been analyzed, the radical subjectivist character of the poem’s persona has been overlooked up to now. By comparing Durchwachte Nacht with other poems by Droste-Hülshoff, and with the literary tradition of poetic vigils, the striking secular character of the poem becomes evident. Two questions need to be answered. Firstly: How can the person describing her long sleepless night get up from her bed fully recovered at day break? Could this be the effect of the unexpected appearance of the „schönes Kind“ during the speaker’s day dreaming? And if so, what does this child represent and what does its appearance mean? In my reading, Durchwachte Nacht is a lyrical reflection about the creative genius, a text in which the author abandons the religious tradition in favour of an almost Dionysian hymn on artistic creation.

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