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Jeremy Noel-Tod briefly reviews Snow Part/Schneepart and Other Poems (1968-1969) by Paul Celan (translated by Ian Fairley) over in the Telegraph (thanks Steve!)


A more colloquial Celan might be imagined - and has been, in America, by Pierre Joris. But the consistent texture of these translations makes for a very satisfying volume to read whole, as Snow Part's psychodrama progresses from privation and sexual surrealism to public poems for troubled times (1968) and, finally, hi-tech apocalypse: "In the entry hatches to truth / the scanners are praying."

This is a great volume but, for me, we need Hamburger's, Fairley's andPierre's translations. Taken together, they help us to read a fuller, truer Celan than we would have in English with just one version.


Mention of Pierre is timely: he very kindly sent me some of his recent publications a couple of weeks ago and I need to report back on them. I'll do that in the next week or so.

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