Celan and Hölderlin : an essay in the problem of tradition / Joel David Golb.
The purpose of this study is to show that Holderlin had a strong influence on Celan--one clarified by the tradition of eschatological allegory in which both poets have a place. This involves examining the social and psychological circumstances linking and contrasting Holderlin's German pietism with the Central European Jewish world of Celan's youth in Czernowitz and his adult life in postwar Paris. In the course of considering the Celan-Holderlin nexus, it be-comes clear that Celan's reading of Holderlin (i.e. his thematiza- tion of Holderlin's poetics and understanding of Holderlin's poetic purpose) was strongly mediated by Heidegger's commentaries and by an interpretive tradition emerging from the neoromantic ideology at play in the German fin-de-siecle, strongly informing the writings of figures such as Wilhelm Michel, Ernst Bertram, and Martin Buber, and revived in Paris after the war by Blanchot. With Holderlin's life and work at the heart of Celan's own sense of mission, and his effort to define his own place in literary tradition and master the burden of the past, it seems that Celan's poetry must be read in relation to a specific, controlling intellectual structure: one involving a juncture of the values at play in the neoromantic evolution of the German ideal of Bildung, or self-formation, the ideological backdrop of his literary education, with the ambivalent resuscitation of these values via Heidegger in the postwar Parisian cultural scene.
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