Poetry as Individuality

Derek Hillard

The Discourse of Observation in Paul Celan

2010
181 pages
$47.00
ISBN 1611483390

The most significant European poet of the second half of the twentieth century, Paul Celan, viewed poetry as "the language of an individual that has become form," an individual that is constructed through the act of observation in the poem. In Poetry as Individuality: The Discourse of Observation in Paul Celan, Derek Hillard argues that individuality is the crux of poetry for Celan because the Holocaust effectively eviscerated the individual. Hillard investigates the core figures of individuality in Celan's poetry and prose: semblance, madness, and the wound. Celan's enigmatic poetry of a depopulated textual universe has perplexed critics. This book argues that the poetry's figures have a common source--the discourse of observation from the fields of appearance, perception, and the mind.

About the author:

Derek Hillard is Associate Professor of German at Kansas State University. He was educated at the University of Washington (BA) and Indiana University (MA, PhD), including studies at universities in Tübingen and Berlin. Professor Hillard has published articles in the German Quarterly, German Studies Review, and Nietzsche Studien, among others. He has published on Nietzsche, Gottfried Keller, Celan, and Rilke, as well as on German film and trauma.

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