Winner of the EC's first European Translation Prize 1990 Paul Celan is among the most important German-language poets of the century, and, in George Steiner's words, 'almost certainly the major European poet of the period after 1945.' He was born in 1920 into a Jewish family in Bukovina, a German enclave in Romania which was destroyed by the Nazis. His parents were taken to a concentration camp in 1942, and did not return; Celan managed to escape deportation and to survive. After settling in Paris in 1948, he soon gained widespread recognition as a poet with the publication of his first collection of poems in 1952. Language, Paul Celan said, was the only thing that remained intact for him after the war. His experiences of the war years and of the loss of his parents are the recurrent themes of his poetry. In the end they led as well to his suicide by drowning in 1970. This book was awarded the EC's first European Translation Prize in 1990.
Winner of European Poetry Translation Prize 1990.
Michael Hamburger was born in Berlin in 1924. In 1933 he came to Britain, and was educated at Westminster School and Christ Church, Oxford. He has taught widely in America and Britain and has become the outstanding contemporary translator and critic of German literature. He has received many awards, including the Schlegel-Tieck Prize for the first edition of `Paul Celan: Poems' in 1981 and the German Federal Republic's Goethe Medal in 1986 for his services to German literature.