Thresholds, Encounters

Paul Celan and the Claim of Philology

Edited by Kristina Mendicino & Dominik Zechner

Subjects: Literary Criticism, Continental Philosophy, German Studies, Translation
Series: SUNY series, Literature . . . in Theory
Hardcover : 9781438494418, 324 pages, September 2023
Expected to ship: 2023-09-01

Explores the various ways in which poetic and philosophical writing meet in texts by, and on, Paul Celan.


Paul Celan's works dwell on the threshold between the extremes of poetic expression and philosophical reflection. The divergent literary and critical idioms that have marked Celan's writing—and that Celan's writing has come to mark for others (Hamacher, Derrida, Szondi)—thus call for a new philology. This philology cannot be situated within presupposed genres or fields but rather explores the ways in which poetic and philosophical ambitions meet in texts by, and on, Celan. The first part of Thresholds, Encounters ("Ex-posing the Poem") speaks to issues of history, ecology, and aurality; the second part ("Language Dislodged") delves into Celan's articulations of encounter, positionality, and translation. Throughout, contributors probe the consequences of Celan's poetry for thinking and writing, while inviting readers from different disciplinary spaces to further pace out the liminal zones opened by his oeuvre.

Kristina Mendicino is Associate Professor of German Studies at Brown University. She is the author of Announcements: On Novelty and Passive Voices (On the Subject of Phenomenology and Other Figures of Speech), both published by SUNY Press. Dominik Zechner is Assistant Professor of German at Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey.


"Beautiful and very open in its structure, Thresholds, Encounters is an invitation to dialogue." — Ilit Ferber, author of Language Pangs: On Pain and the Origin of Language

"The volume demonstrates an exemplary fidelity to a practice of philology that is attentive to language's capacity for ungrounding its propositions. It would not be an exaggeration to describe these performances of reading as tours de force." — Jason Groves, author of The Geological Unconscious: German Literature and the Mineral Imaginary