A Competition of Love and Darkness Between Two Poets

Newly-published correspondence between Paul Celan and Ingeborg Bachmann, two of the most prominent poets in the German language, reveals a tumultuous relationship and its effect on their work.

It was a tumultuous love affair in two acts: love and parting, and a few years later, love and parting once again. The participants happened to be the two most prominent German-language poets of the 20th century: Paul Celan, a Jewish man from Romania, and Ingeborg Bachmann, a Christian woman from Austria.