Todesfuge [Death Fugue]
New York: [Edition Gunnar A. Kaldewey] Printed in the tower of Poestenkill, 1984. Kuball, Mischa. Limited Edition. Hardcover. One of 15 deluxe copies bound in vellum, folio size, 40 pp., signed by Mischa Kuball, in German. Near Fine. Item #CNJL203
"Todesfuge" is one of the "great and terrifying literary works" written by survivors of the Holocaust. Paul Celan (1920-1970) was born Paul Antschel in Romania to a German-speaking Jewish family, his surname was later spelled Ancel and he eventually adopted the anagram Celan as his nom de plume. Celan lived in France and was influenced by the French surrealists but wrote his poetry in German (he was well versed in at least six languages, and also translated the work of many notable poets).
As a German-speaking Jewish survivor of WWII, living in France, Celan struggled immensely throughout his life with feelings of estrangement from his native language; he is said to have tried to create his own version of the language, emotionally dismantling it, resulting in an indirect obscurity and unpretentious darkness. Although not necessarily representative of all his work he is best known for this poem, "Todesfugue" (Death Fugue, or Death March).
This version, published by the Kaldewey Press, unites Celan's moving poetry with the papercut artwork of Mischa Kuball (b. 1959), a Dusseldorf born artist known for his interest in space-related art and graphics. "He uses light as a medium to explore architectural spaces as well as social and political discourses and reflects on a whole variety of aspects from sociocultural structures to architectural interventions as well as emphasizing or reinterpreting their monumental nature and context in architectural history" (n.b., quote from the web site of the artist). Please note that all text is in German.
___DESCRIPTION: Bound in full vellum, gilt decoration on front, papercuts on C.M. Fabriano paper, text on translucent paper; papercut artwork by Mischa Kuball, signed by him on the limitation page. Limited edition of 65 copies, the first 15 of which are bound in vellum, all unnumbered, this one of the 15 (an additional 5 copies were printed on special Japanese paper); folio size (14.5" tall); unpaginated with 20 leaves total, including both papercut and text pages.
___CONDITION: Fine but for lower corners lightly bumped in a near fine publisher's slipcase covered in black paper.
___CITATION: Clemens von Lucius, Edition Kaldewey no. 9.
___POSTAGE: International customers, please note that additional postage may apply, please contact seller for details.
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