Celan & Bachmann
Celan and Bachmann are two of the most important authors of the second half of the 20th century. Almost exact contemporaries, they made significant contributions to the development of the literature of the Federal Republic, and their longstanding personal relationship can at least partially explain the aesthetic similarities between their works.
The goal of the seminar is to gain familiarity with the two authors’ works, by means of intensive close readings, as well as with their theoretical writings. Selections of Celan’s poetry, from Der Sand aus den Urnen to Schneepart will be discussed along with poems from Bachmann’s poetry collections Die gestundete Zeit and Anrufung des Grossen Bären, her short prose fiction (e.g., Simultan), and the novel Malina. Selections from their respective theoretical works (Bachmann’s Frankfurter Vorlesungen and Celan’s speeches upon accepting the Bremen and Büchner literary prizes) will also be considered. Letters and films will shed light on the biographical background and illustrate relationships to other writers. The course will, then, not only study the works of the two authors, but also offer new insights into their position in German literature of the 20th century.
Required texts: Paul Celan: Ausgewählte Gedichte / Zwei Reden. Nachwort Beda Allemann. Suhrkamp Verlag, Berlin; Ingeborg Bachmann: Gedichte, Erzählungen, Hörspiel, Essays. Pieper Verlag, München; Wolfgang Emmerich: Paul Celan (rororo Monographien), Rowohlt Verlag; Hans Höller: Ingeborg Bachmann (rororo Monographien), Rowohlt Verlag.