Cult-L: Song & Catastrophe: Paul Celan(Ivan Sokolov, UCal Berkeley)
The lyric of Paul Celan streams straight through the watershed of 1945, the Zero Hour. It grapples with the impossible past of Holocaust—it is 't h e' "Poetry after Auschwitz": one that mourns modernity, one that concludes "the Age of the Poets." But it also sings through and beyond the terrors, toward a difficult, abstract, new experience of / in modernity. We will consider the poetry of Paul Celan along both of these axes: as the bearing of an impossible witness and as the opening of a new world. "There are / still songs to sing beyond / mankind."
All texts will be considered in English translations (and possibly in other languages).