Originally presented as a speech to the German Academy for Language and Poetry on the occasion of Celan's acceptance of the Georg Büchner Prize for literature, The Meridian is one of, if not the most important poetological statement of the second half of the twentieth century. Much more than a personal statement or occasional piece, it is a meditation on the state of poetry and art in general and a rigorous attempt to account for what poetry is, can, and must be after the Holocaust. This definitive historico-critical edition, available for the first time in English, presents not only the first drafts, but also a vast array of notes and preparatory work and a brief essay on Osip Mandelstam, all of which work to expand the field of reference of Celan's manifesto and reveal its true scope. Rich commentaries clarify Celan's notes to authors as diverse as Leibniz, Scheler, Kafka, Hofmannsthal, Husserl, Pascal, Valéry, Heidegger, and others.
Listen to an interview about Celan's Meridian with translator Pierre Joris on the radio program Cross Cultural Poetics, hosted by poet and professor Leonard Schwartz. The shows airs on KAOS 89.3FM Olympia, Washington and is archived online by The University of Pennsylvania's Pennsound.