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Pandaemonium Germanicum

On-line version ISSN 1982-8837


CARDOZO, Mauricio Mendonça. Obscurity of poetry in Paul Celan. Pandaemonium ger. [online]. 2012, vol.15, n.19, pp.82-108. ISSN 1982-8837.

Tensioned between variations of the said and the unsaid, and between figures of light and shadow, Paul Celan's work performs a certain confrontation with the condition of silence and obscurity, breaking all at once with a certain way of making poetry and of relating to reality. In this sense, Celan's work can hardly be reduced to a kind of hermeticism, a category too vague to account for its singularity. In his work saying and silencing together articulate the tension that creates the poetic space in which the poem is inscribed. The poet himself tried to refuse the insistence of some critics on labeling his work as obscure. Despite of its fragmentary nature, the recently published manuscripts of his speech project Von der Dunkelheit des Dichterischen constitutes one of Celan’s most extensive discussions of the matter of obscurity in poetry. This paper aims at presenting the fragments of his speech project and pointing out its importance to the discussion of the notion of obscurity in Paul Celan's work.

Keywords : Paul Celan; contemporary Poetry; Obscurity; Hermeticism.

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