Bismarck, Otto v.
Kleist, Heinrich v.
Ossietzky, Carl v.
Schinkel, Karl Friedrich
b. Nov. 23, 1920, Cernauti, Rom. [now Chernovtsy, Ukraine]
d. May 1, 1970, Paris, France
pseudonym of PAUL ANTSCHEL, poet who, though he never lived in Germany, gave its
post-World War II literature one of its most powerful and regenerative voices. His
poetry was influenced stylistically by French Surrealism, and its subject matter by his
grief as a Jew.
When Romania came under virtual Nazi control in World War II, Celan was sent to a
forced-labour camp, and his parents were murdered. After working from 1945 to 1947
as a translator and publisher's reader in Bucharest, Celan moved to Vienna, where he
published his first collection of poems, Der Sand aus den Urnen (1948; "The Sand
from the Urns"). From the outset his poetry was marked by a phantasmagoric
perception of the terrors and injuries of reality and by a sureness of imagery and
Settling in Paris in 1948, where he had studied medicine briefly before the war, he
lectured on language at the Ecole Normale and translated French, Italian, and Russian
poetry, as well as Shakespeare, into German. His second volume of poems, Mohn und
Gedächtnis (1952; "Poppy and Memory"), established his reputation in West
Germany. Seven volumes of poetry followed, including Lichtzwang (1970;
"Lightforce"). The fullest English translation of his work is Speech-Grille and
Selected Poems (1971). He died by his own hand.
"Celan, Paul" Encyclopædia Britannica Online.