Search Results

Advanced Search

16 to 30 of 36 results

Sort by:

Filter by:


Article Types



A Suspect in the Eyes of Super-Patriots

Charles Simic: Vasko Popa, 18 March 1999

Collected Poems of Vasko Popa 
translated by Anne Pennington.
Anvil, 464 pp., £12.95, January 1998, 0 85646 268 3
Show More
Show More
... than Pennington can offer and he was capable of a verbal dazzle that makes him sound at times like Paul Muldoon. Pennington’s language is far more formal. Francis Jones, who expanded and revised the Collected Poems, is aware of the problem. Popa’s ‘words and images are multi-layered’, Jones says, ‘combining concrete representations with ...

Bitten by a Snake

Michael Wood: Waiting for Valéry, 21 May 2020

The Idea of Perfection: The Poetry and Prose of Paul Valéry 
translated by Nathaniel Rudavsky-Brody.
Farrar, Straus, 352 pp., £32, April, 978 0 374 29848 7
Show More
Show More
... Yeats​ was a great admirer of Paul Valéry’s poem ‘Le Cimetière marin’ (‘The Graveyard by the Sea’), but only up to a point – the point where he thought that the poem’s main injunction was not about lingering among the tombs and talking to the dead, but about getting on with life, or trying to. ‘After certain poignant stanzas,’ Yeats wrote, ‘and just when I am deeply moved, he chills me ...

At the RA

John-Paul Stonard: Anselm Kiefer , 6 November 2014

... memorial. The ‘ashen-haired’ Sulamith and the ‘golden-haired’ Margarethe are from Paul Celan’s Todesfugue; the loss of Sulamith is a symbol of the Holocaust. Political reunification in 1990 restored the former east, but the real ‘other half’ of German history, the Jewish part, could never be restored. Kiefer’s range of subject ...

Anna of All the Russias

John Bayley, 24 January 1991

Selected Poems 
by Anna Akhmatova, selected and translated by Stanley Kunitz and Max Hayward.
Harvill, 173 pp., £5.95, November 1989, 0 00 271041 2
Show More
The Complete Poems of Anna Akhmatova 
translated by Judith Hemschemeyer, edited by Roberta Reeder.
Zephyr, 1635 pp., £85, October 1990, 0 939010 13 5
Show More
The Garden: New and Selected Poetry and Prose 
by Bella Akhmadulina.
Boyars, 171 pp., £9.95, January 1991, 0 7145 2924 9
Show More
Show More
... Petersburg in 1917-18, in spite of the poem’s vivid affirmation of local colour and sound. Even Paul Celan, by far the greatest poet to confront the holocaust age, transforms its horrors by the sheer intensity and individuality of his skills, in poems like ‘Espenbaum’ and ‘Engführung’. Akhmatova’s success in Requiem is much simpler and in a ...


Wendy Steiner, 1 June 1989

Real Presences 
by George Steiner.
Faber, 236 pp., £12.99, May 1989, 0 571 14071 8
Show More
Show More
... of judgment ... are invested in the overnight.’ After all, who would set Toni Morrison next to Paul Celan? And lest this reference to black women writers of the Eighties appear a random example, we might look at Steiner’s musings on the relation between gender and art. He considers the act of aesthetic creativity an imitation of God’s fiat. ‘In ...

Nicely Combed

Matthew Reynolds: Ungaretti, 4 December 2003

Selected Poems 
by Giuseppe Ungaretti, translated by Andrew Frisardi.
Carcanet, 287 pp., £14.95, April 2003, 1 85754 672 5
Show More
Show More
... as ‘man, monotonous universe’; on the other hand, there is little that could have been gained. Paul Celan was attracted by this later writing and translated much of it into German, but English poets have been less impressed. One could not compile a volume of responses by diverse hands to rival the recent Penguin anthology of Montale translations. The ...

A Big Life

Michael Hofmann: Seamus Heaney, 4 June 2015

New Selected Poems 1988-2013 
by Seamus Heaney.
Faber, 222 pp., £18.99, November 2014, 978 0 571 32171 1
Show More
Show More
... waver/Into language. Do not waver in it,’ Heaney says to himself, but that’s as hopeless as Paul Celan telling himself to ‘rise up against/multiple meanings.’ The fact that these poets issue such instructions to themselves at all is proof that they need to. A hankering (perhaps as much for his sake as for mine) for an unofficial Heaney ...

Her Body or the Sea

Ian Patterson: Ann Quin, 21 June 2018

The Unmapped Country: Stories and Fragments 
by Ann Quin.
And Other Stories, 192 pp., £10, January 2018, 978 1 911508 14 4
Show More
Show More
... and Amis and their followers, open to the influence of Europeans, especially the Surrealists and Paul Celan, and to the work of Americans such as Charles Olson, Ed Dorn, Jack Spicer or Frank O’Hara and the New York poets. When I look back on it now, it’s clear that Quin’s writing sits more easily alongside this internationalist milieu. She was ...

Unquiet Bodies

Thomas Laqueur: Burying the 20th Century, 6 April 2006

Retroactive Justice: Prehistory of Post-Communism 
by István Rév.
Stanford, 340 pp., £19.95, January 2005, 0 8047 3644 8
Show More
Show More
... smoke you will rise into air Then a grave you will have in the clouds There one lies unconfined Paul Celan wrote in ‘Todesfuge’. These dead can generally be reburied only symbolically. Ashes are gathered from Eastern Europe’s death camps and newly interred under gravestones. At Père Lachaise they lie near the Mur des Fédérés, where the last ...

It’s just a book

Philip Horne, 17 December 1992

by Paul Auster.
Faber, 245 pp., £14.99, October 1992, 0 571 16786 1
Show More
Show More
... Paul Auster is an amphibious writer whose eclectic methods and influences make one unsure by which end to try and grasp him. His early self-exile to an apprenticeship in Paris as a poet and translator, absorbing the lessons of the ‘high’ aesthetic rigorists – Beckett, Blanchot, Jabès, Celan – was an unexpected preliminary to his return to America and, after several years, his dark, formally self-conscious entry onto the scene of the American novel with The New York Trilogy, an elaborate anti-detective volume full of Hawthorne, Melville and Thoreau ...
... whole, and he walks about with it in all his limbs. He drinks the ‘black milk’ of the poet Paul Celan, morning, noon and night. He has no advantage over anyone else, but he still hasn’t lost his human face. That isn’t a great deal, but it’s ...

Heil Heidegger

J.P. Stern, 20 April 1989

Martin Heidegger: Unterwegs zu seiner Biographie 
by Hugo Ott.
Campus Verlag, 355 pp., DM 48, December 1988, 3 593 34035 6
Show More
Show More
... brought him the greatest acclaim of his entire career; his mountain hut in Todtnauberg, visited by Paul Celan in 1967, became something of a place of pilgrimage; and when, finally, a Russian philosopher wrote to him that in the Soviet Union, too, his reading of Hölderlin’s ‘lament for the absent gods’ was being accepted as a valid reading of the ...

Polly the Bleeding Parrot

James Meek: David Peace, 6 August 2009

Occupied City 
by David Peace.
Faber, 275 pp., £12.99, July 2009, 978 0 571 23202 4
Show More
Show More
... of language to do justice to the dead. In his acknowledgments at the end of the book Peace cites Paul Celan and Heiner Müller, two writers who have stress-tested the weak bonds between words, meanings and extreme human acts. But Occupied City represents the most extreme stage of an experimental process that Peace began in the first part of Red Riding ...

Professor or Pinhead

Stephanie Burt: Anne Carson, 14 July 2011

by Anne Carson.
New Directions, 192 pp., £19.99, April 2010, 978 0 8112 1870 2
Show More
Show More
... her own head, or in our time, or in the ancient world. Carson wrote in Economy of the Unlost that Paul Celan ‘uses language as if he were always translating’: we could say the same thing about her. Her translations usually sound like the rest of her poems, obtrusively contemporary but studiedly idiosyncratic, plainly weird (they may reflect their ...

Locked and Barred

Robert Crawford: Elizabeth Jennings, 24 July 2003

New Collected Poems 
by Elizabeth Jennings.
Carcanet, 386 pp., £9.95, February 2002, 1 85754 559 1
Show More
Show More
... or ‘The Bonnie Broukit Bairn’, or with some of the brief, brilliant lyrics of Mandelstam or Celan. Yet Mandelstam or Celan might have made it too ringingly portentous; instead, it is as light and as true and beautifully ordered as Sappho on the evening star. Most of Jennings’s work does not operate in this intensely ...

Read anywhere with the London Review of Books app, available now from the App Store for Apple devices, Google Play for Android devices and Amazon for your Kindle Fire.

Sign up to our newsletter

For highlights from the latest issue, our archive and the blog, as well as news, events and exclusive promotions.

Newsletter Preferences