click here to see the entire special issue Antti Salminen The decisive moment of human development is continually at hand. This is why those movements of revolutionary thought that declare everything preceding to be an irrelevance are correct because at yet nothing has happened. Kafka, Zürau-fragment 6 In his Meridian speech (1960) Paul Celan (19201970) pays homage to a dissident tradition, speaking of himself as one "who grew up with Peter Kropotkin's and Gustav Landauers' writings" (GW 3 190).1 In his biography John Felstiner briefly mentions Celan's affiliation, noting that the poet soon relinquished his communist sympathies but stood loyal to the ethoi of socialism and anarchism (8). This holds true as a point of departure, but a detailed analysis of Celan's anarchistic impulse is lacking and often downplayed as a youthful lapse with only very minor affinity to Celan's mature poetics and philosophical reflections. Notwithstanding, Celan's letters, fragments2 and poetical allusions,3 for instance, document his sympathies and ideological ties to social anarchism throughout his life. In the pages to follow, Celan's anarchistic verve is understood not only as a politic, but also a poetic, ontological, existential and religious gesture that is highly original even in
SubStance – University of Wisconsin Press
Published: Nov 10, 2014
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