Paul Celan and Ingeborg Bachmann met in Vienna in 1948. Bachmann, the daughter of a prominent Austrian National Socialist, was studying philosophy there; Celan was a stateless German-speaking Jewish refugee. Despite the differences in their backgrounds, the two became lovers, and began a correspondence that would last for many years. Now available in English for the first time, these letters between two of German literatures greatest 20th-century writers provide a deeply moving commentary on the search for love and meaning in post-Holocaust Europe. ‘Scarcely more breathlessly and desperately can two lovers ever have struggled for words’, wrote Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung of the German edition.
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