The Hebrew University Logo
Syllabus GERMAN POETRY AFTER 1945 - 32829
close window close
PDF version
Last update 10-07-2016
HU Credits: 2

Degree/Cycle: 2nd degree (Master)

Responsible Department: german, russian & east european studies

Semester: 2nd Semester

Teaching Languages: English

Campus: Mt. Scopus

Course/Module Coordinator: Vivian Liska

Coordinator Email:

Coordinator Office Hours: Wednesdays 10-12 am and by appointment

Teaching Staff:
Prof Vivian Liska

Course/Module description:
*Characteristics and place of poetry in German literature
*Overview of the situation of poetry in Germany after 1945
*Debate about lyrical poetry after Auschwitz. *The major theoretical statements about this topic (Adorno: Erziehung nach Auschwitz, George Steiner: Language and Silence et al.).
*The main part of the course is devoted to an analysis of individual poems by Paul Celan
as well as Nelly Sachs, Hans Magnus Enzensberger, Marie Luise Kaschnitz, Ingeborg Bachmann, Robert Schindel and others.

Course/Module aims:
In depth understanding of the problematic position of German poetry in the historical, cultural and literary context of postwar Europe.

Learning outcomes - On successful completion of this module, students should be able to:
Knowledge of Postwar German Poetry and its theoretical debates
Practice of close readings of difficult poems.

Attendance requirements(%):

Teaching arrangement and method of instruction: Seminars consisting of interactive lectures and discussions

Course/Module Content:
Introduction: What is Lyrical Poetry? (From Hegel to Heidegger)
"Poetry after Auschwitz is barbaric" (Adorno)
Introduction to Paul Celan
Celan' Early Poetry
Readings of Individual poems: Before a Candle, Death Fugue, Psalm,
Nelly Sachs: Choirs after Midnight
Hans Magnus Enzensberger: Visitation
Marie Luise Kaschnitz: Zoon Politikon
Contemporary Poets Reading Celan
"Celan in Theory"

Required Reading:
A reader with primary and secondary literature will be made available to the students at the beginning of the course.

Additional Reading Material:

The following study material can be studied voluntarily :
Adorno, Theodor W.. Ob nach Auschwitz noch sich leben lasse. Ein philosophisches Lesebuch. Herausgegeben von Rolf Tiedemann. Frankfurt am Main: Suhrkamp, 1997. Meinecke, Dietlind. Über Paul Celan. Frankfurt am Main: Suhrkamp, 1978.
Peter Horst Neumann: Zur Lyrik Paul Celans. Eine Einführung. Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, Göttingen 1968; 2. Auflage 1990, ISBN 3-525-33567-9
Peter Szondi: Celan-Studien. Hg. von Jean Bollack mit Henriette Beese, Wolfgang Fietkau, Hans-Hagen Hildebrandt, Gert Mattenklott, Senta Metz, Helen Stierlin. Suhrkamp, Frankfurt 1972
Dietlind Meinecke (Hrsg.): Über Paul Celan. Suhrkamp, Frankfurt 1973
Marlies Janz: Vom Engagement absoluter Poesie. Zur Lyrik und Ästhetik Paul Celans. Athenäum, Königstein 1976
Paul Celan Text und Kritik , Heft 53/54, München 1977
Israel Chalfen: Paul Celan. Eine Biographie seiner Jugend, Insel, Frankfurt 1979
Winfried Menninghaus: Paul Celan. Magie der Form. Suhrkamp, Frankfurt 1980
Karsten Hvidfelt Nielsen, Harald Pors: Index zur Lyrik Paul Celans. W. Fink, München 1981
Gerhart Baumann: Erinnerungen an Paul Celan. Suhrkamp, Frankfurt 1986
Hans-Georg Gadamer: Wer bin Ich und wer bist Du? – Ein Kommentar zu Paul Celans Gedichtfolge 'Atemkristall', Suhrkamp, Frankfurt 1986
Otto Pöggeler: Spur des Worts. Zur Lyrik Paul Celans. Alber, Freiburg / München 1986, ISBN 3-495-47607-5
Werner Hamacher, Winfried Menninghaus (Hrsg.): Paul Celan. Suhrkamp, Frankfurt 1988 (Reihe: Materialien)
John Felstiner: Paul Celan. Eine Biographie Beck, München 1997, ISBN 3-406-42285-3
Wolfgang Emmerich: Paul Celan Rowohlt, Reinbek 1999, ISBN 3-499-50397-2
Jean Bollack: Paul Celan. Poetik der Fremdheit. Aus dem Franz. von Werner Wögerbauer. Zsolnay, Wien 2000, ISBN 3-552-04976-2

Course/Module evaluation:
End of year written/oral examination 40 %
Presentation 40 %
Participation in Tutorials 0 %
Project work 0 %
Assignments 0 %
Reports 0 %
Research project 0 %
Quizzes 0 %
Other 20 %
Class Participation

Additional information:
This course will be taught in English but the presentations can be given in Hebrew, German or French. The texts will be discussed in English, German and Hebrew.
Students needing academic accommodations based on a disability should contact the Center for Diagnosis and Support of Students with Learning Disabilities, or the Office for Students with Disabilities, as early as possible, to discuss and coordinate accommodations, based on relevant documentation.
For further information, please visit the site of the Dean of Students Office.