The poetry of Paul Celan has intrigued and mystified his readers since publication of his first volume, "Mohn und Gedachtnis", in 1952. Celan's death in 1970 only served to heighten that interest as scholars have attempted to dissect and interpret his compressed, incongruous images. In "Holocaust Visions", Clarise Samuels interprets Celan's poetry in the light of an ideological-epistemological framework that unites the poetry within a coherent philosophical framework. Arguing that surrealism is for Celan a revolutionary ideology as originally established by Andre Breton, Samuels shows that Celan's surrealism rests on an existentialist foundation, Sartrean in nature, that pervades all his poetry. Despite Celan's pessimism, his vision of the Holocaust universe is intended to expose the veneer of a false reality in a philosophical quest for a more authentic and truthful, if not utopian, reality. The study will be of interest to all students and scholars of Celan's poetry and to those working with Holocaust literature.
Publisher: Boydell & Brewer Ltd