Encounters with Paul Celan's Poetry: The Other's Time consists of encounters: with poetry, with its readers, and with the other that poetry seeks to encounter. What does it mean, when Celan insists that every real encounter, every true encounter happens in memory of the poetic encounter, the secret of the encounter? This book presents close readings of various poems, often attempting textual and intellectual dialogue with philosophers who read Celan or who were read by Celan, such as Jacques Derrida, Werner Hamacher, Edmund Husserl, Hans-Georg Gadamer, and Maurice Merleau-Ponty.
Pajari Räsänen teaches comparative literature at the University of Helsinki.
Chapter 1: How to Avoid Praying?
Chapter 2: Undecidably Equivocal
Chapter 3: Squalls I
Chapter 4: Squalls II
Chapter 5: The Tropic of Circumcision
Chapter 6: In Life, Like a Secret
Chapter 7: Breathings
Räsänen's exquisite study not only offers an exemplary contribution to the philology of poetry—both as it is practiced in the writings of Paul Celan, and as it may yet be practiced in approaching those writings—: for it also extends the "unconditional hospitality" of Celan's oeuvre, in all senses of the word. Throughout, Räsänen invites readers into those spaces for encounter which Celan's poems open, drawing out the intersections among texts and voices that take place within them, and making further room for others yet to come. In a word: Räsänen speaks, with Celan, for "the other's time" in ways which call for reading, for ever another time.