The year 2020 marks both the 100th anniversary of poet Paul Celan's birth and the 50th anniversary of his death. Many exhibitions, book publications, and conferences will be held in honor of the Jewish poet, including Thomas Sparr's new book on the poem Death-Fugue (Todesfuge). In his book, Sparr discusses the reception history of Celan's most famous poem, which was translated into dozens of languages. In this presentation, Sparr will talk both about the book project and the poem itself. The poem, Sparr will argue, greatly advanced historical understanding and literary treatment of the Shoah.
Thomas Sparr is an independent scholar and Editor-at-Large at Suhrkamp Publishing House in Berlin. His latest book Grunewald im Orient, about German-Jewish Jerusalem, will be published in English 2020.