Death Fugue –

Biography of a Poem

Original Title: Todesfuge - Biographie eines Gedichts

original edition

Hardcover with jacket, 336 pages, 13.5 x 21.5 cm, 5.3 x 8.5 in.
ISBN: 978-3-421-04787-8
€ 22.00 [D] | € 22.70 [A] | CHF 30.90 * (* rec. retail price) recommended retail price

Publishing House: DVA Sachbuch

Date of publication: March 10, 2020
This title is available.


Thomas  Sparr - Death Fugue –  -  - Biography of a Poem


The story of Death Fugue: the first account of the international impact of Paul Celan

No other poem after 1945 is as well-known as Paul Celan's Death Fugue. Written under the impact of the murder of his parents by the National Socialists, it is seen as one of the earliest literary testimonies in face of the Shoah.

Thomas Sparr has written a history of this poem which, as no other piece of post-war writing, paints a picture of an entire epoch and which even to this day still has a lasting international impact. The author starts out with the poem's genesis, covers its initially controversial reception in the 1950s and ends with writers and artists who have been inspired by it. His narrative also demonstrates that the poem, in a very special way, is an account of Celan's biography.

"Sparr envelopes the poem in new perspectives without draining any of its power […] An imminently important work"



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