SHOFAR Summer 1996 Vol. 14, No.4 (chapters 7-12), and "Reality," 1963-70 (chapters 13-18). Since the gist of the first two pans has been suggested by the preceding paragraphs, I wiD simply add here that in Part Two Felstiner engages, among other things, Celan's irradicable religious sense and spiritual sensibility-and his dark search for some kind of salvation. The uncompromising tension between hope and pain continues as a subject in Part Three, but the movement here is toward minimalism in his craft as in his economy of hope. Hospitalized several times in a psychiatric clinic in his late years, he wrote increasingly enigmatic and cryptic verse, from which, Felstiner points out, "anything can be deduced-mystical encounter or helpless loss." Yet he also traces in Celan's minimalism an unmistakable movement toward religious mysticism and an "unburiable" Jewish spiritual consciousness, a "meridian from modern German to Eckhart to Isaiah." CeIan's visit to Israel and his poems on Jerusalem finally brought him inside the gates; however, this only reinforced his exile. Felstiner's book is bound to become one of the classics of Celan scholarship. Perhaps he has somewhat underrepresented the intrinsically linguistic and aesthetic experimentation and monologic impulses in Celan and slightly
Shofar: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Jewish Studies – Purdue University Press
Published: Oct 3, 1996
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