Memory Rose Into Threshold Speech: The Collected Earlier Poetry: A Bilingual Edition

Paul Celan (Author) Pierre Joris (Translator)

Product Details

$45.00  $41.40
Farrar, Straus and Giroux
Publish Date
November 24, 2020
6.4 X 8.3 X 2.0 inches | 2.15 pounds

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About the Author

Paul Celan was born in Czernowitz, Bukovina, in 1920, and is considered by many to be the greatest German-language poet of the second half of the twentieth century. He survived the Holocaust and settled in Paris in 1948, where he lived and wrote until his suicide in 1970. His collections include Poppy and Memory and Homestead of Time, but he is best known for his poem Todesfuge (Death Fugue).

Pierre Joris has written, edited, and translated more than sixty books, including poetry, essays, and anthologies, including Fox-trails, -tails, & -trots (Poems & Proses); Paul Celan: Microliths They Are, Little Stones (Posthumous prose); Arabia (not so) Deserta and, with Adonis, Conversations in the Pyrenees. Joris is the editor and translator of Breathturn into Timestead: The Collected Later Poetry of Paul Celan. In 2005 he received the PEN Award for Poetry in Translation for his translation of Celan's Lichtzwang/Lightduress.


For half a century Pierre Joris has been living with the poetry of Paul Celan. With the publication of Breathturn into Timestead and Memory Rose into Threshold Speech his life's task is completed: a rendering into English of the entire German oeuvre of one of the great poetic presences of the twentieth century. Joris's translations are supple, lively, and as close as we will ever get to the sense of a body of poetry that continually challenges the boundaries of language. --J. M. Coetzee, winner of the Nobel Prize in Literature

Celan's poetry is elliptical, ambiguous, resisting easy interpretation. Perhaps for this reason, it has been singularly compelling to critics and translators, who often speak of Celan's work in quasi-religious terms . . . Pierre Joris, in the introduction to "Memory Rose Into Threshold Speech" (Farrar, Straus & Giroux), his new translation of Celan's first four published books, writes that hearing Celan's poetry read aloud, at the age of fifteen, set him on a path that he followed for fifty years . . . Joris's extensive commentary is a gift to English readers. --Ruth Franklin, The New Yorker

Compiling Celan's first four books into one volume highlights his growth as a writer and thinker, paring language to its essentials. --The New York Times

What a privilege to read Paul Celan, one of the great voices of contemporary poetry, through Pierre Joris. --Katherine Hedeen, Kenyon Review

This ambitious bilingual edition completes Joris's herculean effort to translate all of Celan's poetry into English . . . Joris's introduction and commentary provide useful historical and literary context. This admirable translation presents the early work of an eminent German language postwar poet to a new audience. --Publishers Weekly