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ShibbolethJudges, Derrida, Celan$
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Marc Redfield

Print publication date: 2020

Print ISBN-13: 9780823289066

Published to Fordham Scholarship Online: May 2021

DOI: 10.5422/fordham/9780823289066.001.0001

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“S(ch)ibboleth”

“S(ch)ibboleth”

Apostrophe

Chapter:
(p.69) 6 “S(ch)ibboleth”
Source:
Shibboleth
Author(s):

Marc Redfield

Publisher:
Fordham University Press
DOI:10.5422/fordham/9780823289066.003.0006

“In eins” shares and divides the word shibboleth with an earlier poem titled “Schibboleth.” Both are poems-to-come for each other. “Schibboleth” appears to be a more traditional post-romantic lyric than “In eins,” but a close reading reveals that the poem’s heroic-masochistic first-person narrative is undermined at every point by a poetic counterpulse. The political power of the poem manifests itself at the point at which poetic language leaves mimetic representation behind. A non-naturalistic movement hin, away, disjoints the “I” and opens the poem to the voices of the dead. The trope of apostrophe emerges as the figure of this movement. As the trope of both address and elision, apostrophe marks shibboleth as the Atemwende, the breath-turn.

Keywords:   apostrophe, Celan, shibboleth

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