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The Improbable Encounter of Paul Celan and Martin Heidegger

The poet and the philosopher. Death Fugues and Black Books – The Meeting in Todtnauberg

On July 25, 1967, Holocaust survivor Paul Celan and antisemitic philosopher Martin Heidegger met each other. Two other meetings followed. This is the fascinating story of the two poets and philosophers, and their secretive meeting, which qualifies as an extraordinary event in German intellectual history.

What connected the most influential German philosopher of the twentieth century and the stellar post-war poet, who dedicated one of his most important poems, “Todtnauberg,” to this meeting?

Armed with new research and sources, Hans-Peter Kunisch has crafted a tight, lively and vibrant account. None of us has ever felt this close to Paul Celan and Martin Heidegger.

  • Written by a renowned expert regarding German literature and philosophy
  • Told for the first time in book form: the histories of Celan and Heidegger with special focus on their relationship - researched in previously unknown primary sources and through conversations with the last living witnesses of this meeting.
  • For readers of Wolfram Eilenberger, Volker Weidermann and Rüdiger Safranski


dtv Sachbuch
352 pages, ISBN 978-3-423-28229-1
2. Auflage 2020