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Their Witness

Donald Davie, 27 February 1992

The Poetry of Survival: Post-War Poets of Central and Eastern Europe 
edited by Daniel Weissbort.
Anvil, 384 pp., £19.95, January 1992, 0 85646 187 3
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... there was every reason for the careerists (who included A. Alvarez and Ted Hughes, along with Daniel Weissbort) to look for, and claim to find, a short cut. Philip Larkin’s art, not to speak of Basil Bunting’s or Norman MacCaig’s, was too intricate for them to master. There must be a simpler way! And, brilliantly, they found that there was ...


Tom Paulin: Ted Hughes and the Hare, 29 November 2007

Letters of Ted Hughes 
edited by Christopher Reid.
Faber, 756 pp., £30, November 2007, 978 0 571 22138 7
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... with publishers and through the journal Modern Poetry in Translation which he founded with Daniel Weissbort).It is, however, his letters to Plath that are the outstanding feature of this volume. The first letter (March 1956) is very brief:Sylvia,That night was nothing but getting to know how smooth your body is. The memory of it goes through me ...

On Luljeta Lleshanaku

Michael Hofmann: Luljeta Lleshanaku, 4 April 2019

... the poets of ‘the other Europe’ (Al Alvarez and Philip Roth) or ‘the poets of survival’ (Daniel Weissbort), Lleshanaku is material, then metaphorical, then material again: The search for unknown words is a complete failure. They have all been discovered. They are round and soft, without mystery little planets festering with ants too tired to ...


Michael Hofmann, 23 May 1996

Paul Celan: Poet, Survivor, Jew 
by John Felstiner.
Yale, 344 pp., £19.95, June 1995, 0 300 06068 8
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by Paul Celan, translated by Pierre Joris.
Sun & Moon, 261 pp., $21.95, September 1995, 1 55713 218 6
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... has been done as a Dickinson pastiche. The most famous one, the version of ‘Deathfugue’ that Daniel Weissbort used in his anthology, The Poetry of Survival, where I first saw it, goes, as Weissbort describes it, ‘at certain crucial points, back into German, in an almost sacramental completion of the ...

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