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Translating Celan’s poetics of silence

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Holocaust poetry is like all poetry in that it does not just convey events, but also triggers emotions, and has the potential to change cognitive models and challenge unconsidered views. And yet it relates to real events that must not be falsified. Silences are at the heart of Holocaust poetry. Here I examine a poem by Paul Celan and how it, and its silences, can be translated. Using the notion of conceptual blending I explain how the poem works, and how its translation can also work as a Holocaust poem.
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Keywords: Celan; Holocaust poetry; conceptual blending; pathetic fallacy; silence; translation of poetry

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: December 22, 2011

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