A collection of prose by Paul Celan. Included are replies to questionnaires from the Flinker bookstore, an address to the Hebrew Writers' Association, and introductory notes to the translations of works of Alexander Blok and Osip Mandelstam.
For Celan, the Romanian-born poet who survived a Nazi labor camp and committed suicide in 1970, poetry aspired to silence. His sparse, intense prose pieces, gathered in this small volume, reflect both his mistrust of the medium of language and his use of words ``to orient myself, to find out where I was.'' As a Jew living in postwar Paris, Celan felt a stranger to culture, society, even to nature, a feeling conveyed in the hypnotic, repetitive ``Conversation in the Mountains.'' Deftly translated from the German, the book includes essays, letters, aphorisms, parables, speeches, responses to questionnaires, and introductions to his translations of Russian poets Osip Mandelstam and Alexandercorrect (i've seen variant Aleksander).eed/that's the difficulty with transliterations, many variants.leave as is.gs Blok. ``Racked by reality and in search of it,'' Celan pushes language to the limits of expressiveness in these groping, incantatory pieces. (June)