Monday, January 14, 2008

January 20, Büchner and Celan

"Den 20. Jänner ging Lenz durchs Gebirg."

"On January 20, Lenz walked through the mountains."

January 20 is the date with which Georg Büchner's Lenz begins. I am planning to re-read the story on Sunday, and I invite anyone else who wants to read it to do so as well. If you are not familiar with it, well, it's one of the greatest pieces of prose I have ever read.

The original German is available here.

English translations are available, but not on-line as far as I can tell. See the list on the Lenz page at Wikipedia.

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"Vielleicht darf man sagen, dass jedem Gedicht sein '20 Jänner' eingeschrieben bleibt?"

"Perhaps we may say that every poem has its '20th of January' inscribed?"

A second text to read on January 20 is Paul Celan's "Meridian," the speech he gave on reading the Büchner Prize. If you can't read the German, look for John Felstiner's translation in his "Selected Poems and Prose of Celan."

If you do read either the Büchner or the Celan on January 20, feel free to comment here! And feel free to pass this "call for reading" on.

3 comments:

antonia said...

oh i just recently had a quote of those two too in my blog, but then regarding Danton's Tod. The Lenz is a wonderful text.

anrtonia said...

what's your plan for rereading it, reading and then blogular discussion of interesting aspects?

Andrew Shields said...

I'll probably blog about some of my favorite bits from "Lenz." Right now, I'm reading Lenz himself in anticipation.