Loading Events

« All Events

  • This event has passed.

‘Listen your way in/with the mouth’: the Poetry of Paul Celan

Wed 7 February 2018 @ 6:00 pm - 8:00 pm GMT


Wed 7 February, Durham

In our fifth Arts of Breath event Prof David Fuller will consider the role of breath in the work of Paul Celan.

Paul Celan (1920-1970) was a Jewish Romanian-born German-language poet and translator. Both of his parents died in Nazi camps during World War II, and he was himself imprisoned during the war. Much of his early writing was concerned with the Holocaust, and with the search for a new poetics adequate to the expression of the experience of the war and the post-War situation as he saw it. This lecture will examine his breath-related theories of poetic structure as described in his Georg Büchner prize speech, Meridian (1960), and as put into practice in his later poetry, particularly the collection Atemwende (Breath-turn, 1967), with illustrations from archive of recordings by Celan himself. It will also consider ways in which Celan’s work has been taken up in contemporary German culture by musicians, with a range of illustrations from the popular to the avant-garde. The theories of structure and the poems will be discussed in translation as well as in German, so that the lecture is fully comprehensible to non-German speakers.

David Fuller is Emeritus Professor of English at Durham, and former University Orator. He teaches on Shakespeare and has written on subjects from Medieval to contemporary. As a trained Musicologist, he is also interested in music, especially opera and song. 

Free, no need to book. All welcome.

6.15pm start, ER142, Elvet Riverside 1, New Elvet, Durham DH1 3JT

For more information contact sarah.mclusky@durham.ac.uk


The image features Alexander Polzin‘s sculpture ‘Hommage à Paul Celan’ in Anne Frank’s Garden, Paris.


Wed 7 February 2018
6:00 pm - 8:00 pm GMT
Event Categories:
Event Tags:
, , ,


Life of Breath


Elvet Riverside ER142, Durham University
New Elvet
Durham, DH1 3JT United Kingdom