German and Yiddish Conversations in the Archive: The Archives of Itsik Manger and Paul Celan
Hosted By: The National Library of Israel (NLI)
Legendary poet Itzik Manger (1901-1969) wrote primarily in Yiddish.
Paul Celan (1920-1970) became one of the 20th century’s leading German-language poets.
Yet these two Jewish literary giants were both born and raised in the same multilingual milieu of Czernowitz, in what is now Ukraine.
Besides language, their styles and themes differed greatly, and in the wake of the Holocaust, their differences seemed only to intensify, with Alexander Spiegelblatt once arguing that “the linguistic abyss threatened to engulf them both.”
Join scholar Matthew Johnson for a fascinating look into these poets’ divergent paths, as reflected in a wealth of archival documents held among the National Library of Israel’s treasures, including Manger’s trilingual notebooks and his youthful experiments with translation, as well as materials pertaining to Celan’s 1969 visit to Israel and later Yiddish-language correspondence that sheds new light on his relationship with both languages.
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