Spielzeit 26.08. - 09.10.


Ingeborg Bachmann – Paul Celan. Exchange of letters and poems. Read by Anne Tismer and Wolfram Koch

The correspondence between these two great poets of the post-war period is marked by suffering and passion.  Their thoughts constantly return to each other’s work, to the possibilities of writing, of speaking and of remaining silent. Separated for long periods, meeting only occasionally, the letters are tender, lively, soulful.

Misunderstandings accrue, language and letters are no help in the confusion of their love affair.  Many letters remain unsent, are doomed, thrown away.

The absence of letters leads to uncertainty, often short missives announce longer letters that then do not turn up.  Common ground is evoked, both correspondents long for a viable form of relationship – but this is not granted them.

They will write to each other until 1967, they will think of each other; by the end they are close friends, they had stopped being lovers long before.  Ingeborg is living with Max Frisch, Paul Celan is married to Gisèle.  And yet they remain devoted to each other, and the correspondence between Bachmann and Celan’s widow Gisèle reveals the: “indestructibility of a special relationship, despite all its perceptible destructibility.”

A Ruhrtriennale production.