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About the Author
Paul Celan was born into a German-speaking Jewish family in Romania; he lived in France and wrote in German. His works are collected in English in Poems of Paul Celan: A Bilingual German/English Edition and Selected Poems and Prose of Paul Celan, among other books. Ingeborg Bachmann is the author of Darkness Spoken: The Collected Poems of Ingeborg Bachmann, Malina, and Simultan, among others. WielandHoban is a British composer who lives in Germany. He has translated several works from German, including many by Theodor W. Adorno.
"Correspondence, rendered perfectly in English by Wieland Hoban, traces [Celan and Bachmann's] letters, telegrams, and book inscriptions to one another, color-coded and augmented by hundreds of footnotes. Like other volumes from Seagull Books, it's physically gorgeous, with a pleasingly compact trim size. Reading Correspondence feels like an indulgence. It also feels disorienting. The world of the letters and the world of their authors' real lives are askew in a sometimes jarring way, so that the emotional content of the letters reads almost as fiction."--Aaron Belz "Books & Culture"
"A magnificent, and troubled, meeting of minds that would last a lifetime. . . . In almost 200 letters, telegrams, postcards, unsent drafts, poems as love-letters, they tussle with the possibilities and limitations of communication through the written word. Silence and personal darkness have their place. The compromises exacted by life on art, the power and powerlessness of language, fear of the written word, and belief in dialogue through poetry are subjects broached. . . . Taken together, there seems no doubt that, in each other, Bachmann and Celan did have that precious, nigh-impossible fellow being: a companion 'you . . . for me . . . sensually and intellectually . . . the two cannot separate.'"--Rebecca K Morrison "(UK)"
Wieland Hoban has worked with accuracy and determination to capture the nuances of style and register, which include oblique awkwardness (Celan) and self-assuredness (Bachmann), alongside infinite courage and astounding strength (Celan-Lestrange). The translation reads well, with just a slight edge of the original diction remaining to remind readers that we are witnessing a different time and place, and way of perceiving the world. . . . This is an important addition tot he work in translation of two major post-war writers.--Rebecca K Morrison "Times Literary Supplement"
"Scarcely more breathlessly and desperately can two lovers ever have struggled for words. Little known among German literary historians, the relationship between these two poets amounts to one of the most dramatic and momentous occurrences in German literature." -- FAZ--Rebecca K Morrison "Praise for the German edition"