We Say Dark Things to Each Other

The romance between Ingeborg Bachmann and Paul Celan

Original Title: Wir sagen uns Dunkles

Hardcover with jacket, 272 pages, 13.5 x 21.5 cm, 5.3 x 8.5 in.
ISBN: 978-3-421-04631-4
€ 22.00 [D] | € 22.70 [A] | CHF 30.90 * (* rec. retail price) recommended retail price

Publishing House: DVA Belletristik

Date of publication: August 28, 2017
This title is available.

Kundenrezensionen: 5 Sterne (14)


Rights sold to: China (Guangxi Normal Univ. Press), Italy (Neri Pozza)

Selected by New Books in German

Helmut  Böttiger - We Say Dark Things to Each Other


The moving portrait of two great poets bound together by their work but unable to live together

This is a love story surrounded by many legends: Ingeborg Bachmann and Paul Celan met each other in spring 1948 when they were both young, unknown writers. In spite of periods of separation, their relationship lasted until the early 1960s, when they had both long since become two of the most important poets in post-war Germany. Scarcely anyone knew how close they were and indeed they could not bear to be together for long – too incompatible were their backgrounds, too great the injuries they inflicted on each other, too deep their individual involvement in writing.

The highly acclaimed critic Helmut Böttiger has written the first comprehensive portrait of the relationship between Bachmann and Celan. This is a fascinating study of two exceptional poets who together struggled for words, needed each other and yet could not live together.


"… the love story of these two poets is one of the most dramatic and fateful episodes in German literature after 1945." Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung

"This fascinating book has a guaranteed international readership, as both poets are widely read in English translation. Böttiger's knack for combining biographical information with literary analysis, together with the vivid picture he paints of post-war Europe, cements this title's appeal."

New Books in German


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