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Little Words, Big Ideas
You can think of World War II as the story of two wars: first, the war against Germany's expansion that American fought in, and second, Germany's war against the Jews and other minorities they desp...
In Holocaust films like Schindler's List, the depictions of suffering (even though it's white-washed a bit by Hollywood) are vivid and realistic. Shootings, beatings, and all manner of abuse are ri...
Jewish and German identity are kept separate in "Deathfugue." The Jews are treated as an undifferentiated group and live inside a camp. The German guard is taken as an individual and lives in a hou...
Death is a tricky subject in "Deathfugue." The Jewish prisoners, who make up our group of speakers, must constantly confront their mortality, as the moment of their deaths could come at any hour. B...
Art and Culture
People nowadays like to use the word "meta," but "Deathfugue" really is meta: it is a work of art that comments on itself as a work of art. Celan was brought up to appreciate the highlights of Germ...
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