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Thread: Which COUNTRY has produced the greatest literature?

  1. #406
    Registered User EmptySeraph's Avatar
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    The title of the thread is Which COUNTRY has produced the greatest literature?, thus including Celan in the same bracket with Goethe, Schiller, Novalis and Hölderlin is an aberration, for he was born in Bukovina to a German-speaking Jewish family, and he later studied in France and Romania, only to spend nearly his entire adult life in Paris, having French citizenship. The use of a German idiom and the recollection of his mother's tongue (which could be directly traced to the Holocaust) were the sole things that linked Celan to Germany, to that one country in which the official language was the language of his mother's assassins. You cannot atribute an author to a country merely on account of his choosen language.

    While Cioran's assertion that One does not inhabit a country; one inhabits a language. That is our country, our fatherland - and no other, is basically true, understanding that Celan was indeed inhabiting the German language (his use of language is unrivaled as far as I'm concerned regarding the German language in the XXth century, hence the dificulty translators are confronted with when trying to transpose his poetry into another tongue), but to imply that Celan was a product of Germany borders on the preposterous.

  2. #407
    On the road, but not! Danik 2016's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by stlukesguild View Post
    The best translations of Celan into English are probably those by Michael Hamburger who is one of the finest translators of German poetry.

    http://www.english.txstate.edu/cohen...Hamburger.html
    Thank you very much for this thread stluke. Both translations are very interesting.
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  3. #408
    On the road, but not! Danik 2016's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by EmptySeraph View Post
    The title of the thread is Which COUNTRY has produced the greatest literature?, thus including Celan in the same bracket with Goethe, Schiller, Novalis and Hölderlin is an aberration, for he was born in Bukovina to a German-speaking Jewish family, and he later studied in France and Romania, only to spend nearly his entire adult life in Paris, having French citizenship. The use of a German idiom and the recollection of his mother's tongue (which could be directly traced to the Holocaust) were the sole things that linked Celan to Germany, to that one country in which the official language was the language of his mother's assassins. You cannot atribute an author to a country merely on account of his choosen language.
    While Cioran's assertion that One does not inhabit a country; one inhabits a language. That is our country, our fatherland - and no other, is basically true, understanding that Celan was indeed inhabiting the German language (his use of language is unrivaled as far as I'm concerned regarding the German language in the XXth century, hence the dificulty translators are confronted with when trying to transpose his poetry into another tongue), but to imply that Celan was a product of Germany borders on the preposterous.
    You are right but because he wrote in German he is considered a German poet.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Paul_Celan
    A similar example is Prague born Kafka, who also wrote in German without living in Germany.
    "You can always find something better than death."
    Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm, The Bremen Town Musicians

  4. #409
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    I would say that Great Britain and the United States produced a greater number of recent classic literatures than any other country. As far as ancient literature I would guess Greece or the Roman Empire. I'm sure it could be measured statistically instead of using guesswork.

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    According to the Washington post, France is by far the country that has produced the most renowned writers internationally speaking (since the nobel prize exists).
    We shouldn't forget that this is a English speaking forum so we're all biased.
    You can check, France won 17 Nobel prices in literature while the US only won 11 prices.

  6. #411
    Registered User EmptySeraph's Avatar
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    It's only to be expected in all fairness, for France is inherently a literary nation. From their minstrels to the moralists and later realist writers, and ultimately to their relentless, indefatigable avant-garde, the French constantly delivered very precious literature.
    Et ignotas animum dimittit in artes.

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