The Swiss journalist and author Hans-Peter Kunisch has written the cultural history book Totnauberg about the meeting between the philosopher Martin Heidegger and the poet Paul Celan. This took place at the philosopher's cottage in Todtnauberg in the Black Forest mountain area in southern Germany in the summer of 1967.
There are already several professional books and a number of articles about this meeting, but the special thing about Kunisch is that he chooses a literary and journalistic angle, and among other things allows himself to depict what the two could have talked about in the car ride up to the cabin from Freiburg. The day before, Celan had read poems to over a thousand audience in the large university auditorium in Freiburg, where Heidegger was the principal.
It gets pretty funny sometimes. The depiction of the two very awkward and silent spirit chiefs huddled together in the back seat of a "spicy cheese green" people carrier bubble that creeps up to the steep turns up to the cabin. Celan takes the last stretch on foot towards the cabin, constantly taking detours into the forest to look at flowers – while a slightly angry Heidegger has to wait. That. . .
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