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Religions 2018, 9(1), 11; doi:10.3390/rel9010011

The Distance between Zurich and Todtnauberg

Department of Religion, Wofford College, Spartanburg, SC 29303, USA
Received: 1 December 2017 / Revised: 13 December 2017 / Accepted: 27 December 2017 / Published: 2 January 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Theodicy)
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Abstract

This paper focuses on two poems written by Paul Celan after first encounters he had with writers who held great significance for him. In 1960 Celan met fellow Jewish poet Nelly Sachs at the Stork Inn in Zurich, and afterwards recorded the event in the poem “Zürich, Zum Storchen”. Seven years later, Celan visited Martin Heidegger at his hut in the German mountains. Celan’s depiction of this encounter is found in the poem “Todtnauberg”. In this essay, I make a two-fold argument regarding the Zurich poem. First I claim that “Todtnauberg” is clearly crafted in light of the earlier Sachs text, a fact that has been overlooked by previous scholarship. As such, it is only in placing the two texts side by side that a complete understanding of “Todtnauberg” comes into view. Second I will indicate how the Zurich poem reflects key elements of an approach to the problem of evil that I term an “enestological theodicy.” Such a term needed to be coined, since this sort of theodicy does not fit in the more traditional narrative categories related to the problem of evil. View Full-Text
Keywords: Paul Celan; Nelly Sachs; Martin Heidegger; Todtnauberg; Zurichat the Stork; enestological theodicy Paul Celan; Nelly Sachs; Martin Heidegger; Todtnauberg; Zurichat the Stork; enestological theodicy
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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Anderson, A.K. The Distance between Zurich and Todtnauberg. Religions 2018, 9, 11.

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