Celan and Heidegger at the Mountain of Death: Listening to Hope

Hagi Kenaan*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


In “Todtnauberg,” the poem in which Paul Celan responded to his encounter with Martin Heidegger, the concept of hope becomes central. The paper focuses on the ways in which hope figures in between the poet and the philosopher, showing that their different understanding of the value of hope is indicative of a much deeper disagreement that calls for an investigation. This investigation is neither analytic nor purely conceptual, but requires us to develop a new way of listening to hope’s resonance, one that uncovers the presence of a chasm cutting through the space of language in which this mood becomes meaningful for the poet and the philosopher.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)352-365
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of the British Society for Phenomenology
Issue number4
StatePublished - 2021


  • Celan
  • Heidegger
  • Levinas
  • hope
  • listening
  • moods


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