8 October 2010 'Heart-Time' in Krakow already in November!

The a5 publishing house announced that on 1st November 2010 it will release the publication which has been awaited for a long time by a large group of fans of the literary output of Paul Celan and Ingeborg Bachmann – the book Heart-Time. Letters containing a record of their correspondence. The book was translated by Małgorzata Łukasiewicz – a well-known translator of German belles-lettres and philosophical literature. In the past she translated books by Gadamer, Habermas, Süskind, Nietzsche – now it is time for correspondence between the author of Raspberries and the author of the well-known Todesfuge (Death Fugue).

According to the authors’ wish, that correspondence was to be published not earlier than in 2023. However, under the family’s decisions, it will become available to readers already now. The book Herzzeit. Ingeborg Bachmann – Paul Celan. Der Briefwechsel was published in Germany two years ago and became one of the most important publications of the year. At the time of its publication, Michael Braun wrote in Der Tagesspiegel: “A dramatic, profoundly shocking testimony of love that will not leave any reader indifferent”. Andrea Stoll noticed: “Never have lovers fought for words more desperately and till the loss of breath. In the correspondence of Bachmann and Celan, privacy gains political, historical and literary importance”. In various blogs, this publication was described as: “a literary sensation”, “the most exciting publication of the decade”. This is not an exaggeration. Until the publication of their letters, no specific details of the relationship between Bachmann and Celan – a pair which is among most important German-language poets of the previous century – were known.

In the “Conrad addition” to Tygodnik Powszechny (19th September 2010, no. 38) Paul Jandl, a well-known Austrian journalist and literary critic, wrote: “The correspondence between Ingeborg Bachmann and Paul Celan shows lovers suspended between the time of silence and conversation; they are rarely happy and often full of doubts”. And further: “The Heart-Time – Celan’s words that gave the title to the book – is the exact reversal of a key novel: the paths of life of those two persons were as exceptional as the despair that united them”. One of the most mysterious riddles of literature is solved already now – the Polish reader has the opportunity to read the correspondence revealing the background of the unique relationship of two great personalities of the 20th-century German literature.

On 6th November, at 4 p.m. in the National Museum, within a large subject area devoted to the literary output of Celan and Bachmann, a discussion entitled “Akin By Choice: Bachmann-Celan” will be held with the participation of Helmut Böttiger, Peter Hamm, Ryszard Krynicki and Andrzej Opacki. The meeting will be conducted by Ryszard Musiał. We strongly encourage you to read those letters and to participate in the 2nd Joseph Conrad International Literature Festival.