ANTSCHEL Film Screening at the Österreichische Gesellschaft für Literatur (Austrian Society for Literature)

AUTORINNEN.LEXIKON (Dictionary of Authors)

On the occasion of
PAUL CELAN’s 100th Birthday
Tuesday November 23
5 PM

ÖGL in the Palais Wilczek
Herrengasse 5                                                     CANCELED
1010 Wien

Notice: The “2-G Rule” is in effect. This requires proof that you have been vaccinated or recovered. For a four-week transitional period, proof of a first vaccination plus a PCR test (within the past 48 hrs.) is also acceptable. The FFP2 mask requirement remains in effect.

A seat reservation (for contact tracing) is also required, with no exceptions. Tel. 01 5338159 or email: Up to two reservations are allowed per person.


Paul Celan:etwas ganz und gar Persönliches‘ – Die Briefe 1934-1970 (Something Entirely Personal” – Letters 1934-1970) (Selected, edited and annotated by Barbara Wiedemann/Suhrkamp)

Cornelius Hell will present the book, and
Bettina Rossbacher will read from it.

“691 letters, 330 of them previously unpublished, to 252 recipients, reveal a wealth of previously unknown biographical facts, making it possible to define his poetology more precisely, as well as showing him in his everyday routine.” (Publisher’s note)

Following this, Susanne Ayoub will show her film “Antschel” (with Klaus Demus / Sound: Barbara Heller) and give a talk about Klaus Demus and Paul Celan.

Moderator: Manfred Müller
In cooperation with the IWM (Institute for Human Sciences)

45 Min. Original German Version.
By Susanne Ayoub (Director+Screenplay+Camera).
with Klaus Demus (narrator)
and Katharina Knap (spoken word)

Translations exist in English, French, Ukrainian, and Romanian.

Paul Celan was from the Bukovina, “the former Habsburg province that has now fallen victim to the loss of history,” as he put it. He was born in 1920 in Czernowitz (Chernivtsi) to a German-speaking Jewish family. The locales of his childhood no longer existed after the Nazi terror. His family was murdered, and he himself was persecuted and imprisoned in a work camp. He escaped death only by good fortune.

Paul Celan’s passport photo

“Antschel” deals with a homeland in language, the language that was Paul Celan’s only place of refuge.

“There was this one thing amidst the losses that remained attainable, nearby, not lost: language.”

The film is a “landscape film.” City views—pictures from the past—turn up again in present-day Czernowitz. A trip to Sadagora, where Celan’s mother was from, leads to the synagogue and the Jewish cemetery.
Celan’s path through postwar Vienna. His identity card as a Jewish refugee.

“I didn’t stay long. I didn’t find what I had hoped to find.”

Susanne Ayoub with Klaus Demus
They drank dry the eyes of the seeing – from “The Jugs”

It is a landscape film in another sense as well: it visually interprets linguistic images from Celan’s poems.

“Think of me as someone you want to need, as I think of you, Paul, with all my might. – Yours, Klaus”

The narrator of the film is Klaus Demus, now 93 years old.
Demus met Celan through Ingeborg Bachmann in Vienna and stayed connected to him for a lifetime.


Dedication to “Klaus, my brother”


“The only way you can understand poetry is poetically. If you ask what it really means, you haven’t understood what poetry is. Because what it really means is probably ineffable.


Le Pont Mirabeau



In 1970, after years of serious mental crises, Paul Celan drowned himself in the Seine.

Translation Geoffrey C. Howes