Felstiner, John mss., 1955-2011LMC 2767

Papers of John Felstiner at the Lilly Library, Indiana University, Bloomington, Indiana

Finding aid created by:

Creator Felstiner, John.
Title: Felstiner, John mss.
Dates: 1955-2011
Quantity: 10500 items
Abstract: The Felstiner, John mss., 1955-2011, consist of the works of writer, translator, and Stanford professor emeritus, John Felstiner (1936- ).
Language: Materials are in English.
Repository: Lilly Library

Biographical Note

John Felstiner received his A.B. from Harvard College in 1958 and his Ph.D. from Harvard University in 1965, joining the faculty at Stanford University the same year. His first book, The Lies of Art: Max Beerbohm's Parody and Caricature (1972), dealt with parody as a critical, creative, and comic form. Thereafter he focused mainly on modern poetry. Teaching North American poetry in Chile in 1967-68 led to Translating Neruda: The Way to Macchu Picchu (1980), which won the Commonwealth Club of California Gold Medal, and to an ongoing concern with the practice of literary translation, along with its interpretive, creative, and theoretical implications.

Felstiner's book on the German-speaking Jewish poet, Paul Celan: Poet, Survivor, Jew (1995), won the Truman Capote Prize for Literary Criticism. The British Comparative Literature Association gave 1st and 2nd prizes to his Pablo Neruda and Paul Celan translations. His subsequent work Selected Poems and Prose of Paul Celan (Norton, 2001) won the Modern Language Association's biennial Lois Roth Award for Translation of a Literary Work, the American Translators Association's biennial award for German translation, and PEN West's prize for literary translation. He also co-edited the Norton anthology, Jewish American Literature (2000). This Dust of Words, Felstiner's memoir of his brilliant late-1960s student Liz Wiltsee, inspired a documentary film that has been screened at various festivals. He has held Guggenheim, Rockefeller, NEH, and NEA fellowships, taught literary translation twice at Yale, and is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.

Scope and Content Note

The Felstiner, John mss., 1955-2011, consist of the works of writer, translator, and Stanford professor emeritus, John Felstiner (1936- ).

Translations and Research Materials are divided into Paul Celan, Pablo Neruda, and Other. Research Materials comprise the bulk of the collection and include original and photocopied Paul Celan documents and correspondence, journal articles on Celan and literary translation, material on Felstiner's books, and drafts of essays.

Correspondents include: Eric Celan; Gisele Celan-Lestrange; Jerry Glenn; Cynthia Ozick; Petre Solomon; Elie Wiesel.

The collection also contains lecture and conference notes as well as course materials from Felstiner's Stanford and Yale classes. In the Audio-Visual series, there are two compact discs and one cassette tape containing musical compositions set to Paul Celan's poetry. Felstiner's essays published in various journals are arranged alphabetically in the Publications series.


The collection is arranged into the following series:

I. Translations
II. Research Materials
III. Correspondence
IV. Lecture and Conference Materials
V. Course Materials
VI. Audio-Visual Materials
VII. Publications


Access Restrictions: This collection is open for research.

Usage Restrictions: Prior arrangements are not necessary before coming to the Library, however, patrons from out of town are encouraged to communicate with the Library in advance of their visits to ascertain availability of materials. Photocopying permitted only with permission of the Curator of Manuscripts, Lilly Library.

Subject Headings


Celan, Paul.
Neruda, Pablo, 1904-1973.
Wiesel, Elie, 1928-2016.


College teachers
Poetry --Translations --20th century.
Poetry --Translations --21st century.
Poetry, Modern--20th century
Poetry--21st century.

Administrative Information

Preferred Citation

[Item], Felstiner, John mss., Lilly Library, Indiana University, Bloomington, Indiana.

Acquisition Information

Acquired: 2012

Table of Contents

I. Translations

II. Research Materials

III. Correspondence

IV. Lecture and Conference Materials

V. Course Materials

VI. Audio-Visual Materials

VII. Publications

I. Translations
Paul Celan
box 1 Celan Translation Booklets
box 1 Nah, im Aortenbogen Notes
box 1 Todesfuge Booklet
box 1 Todesfuge Notes (2 folders)
box 1 Translations by Celan (2 folders)
box 1 "Ziv, that light" Notes
Pablo Neruda
box 1 Neruda Poetry
box 1 "The Satraps" Materials
box 1 Enrique Lihn (2 folders)
box 1 Dan Pagis
box 1 Victor Jara
box 1 William Carlos Williams
II. Research Materials
Paul Celan
box 1 Articles on Celan (12 folders)
box 2 Articles on Celan (11 folders)
box 2 Celan Bibliography (1989)
box 2 Celan Bibliography (1996)
box 2 Celan Bibliography (undated)
box 2 Celan Bibliography Notes
box 2 Celan Bibliography of Published Poems
box 2 Celan Book Written in Hebrew (photocopy)
box 2 Celan Correspondence (photocopy)
box 2 Celan Correspondence with Nelly Sachs (photocopy)
box 2 Celan Documents (4 folders)
box 3 Celan Interview
box 3 Celan Literary Biography Notes
box 3 Celan Material (6 folders)
box 3 Cyrus Hamlin Material
box 3 "'deep in the glowing text-void': Translating Late Celan" Notes
box 3 Diet Klaus Material
box 3 Dissertation on Celan in German
box 3 Dramatic Interpretations of Celan (2 folders)
box 3 Erich Kahler Material
box 3 Esther Cameron Material
box 3 Erez Kalin thesis on Celan
box 3 Franz Kafka Material
box 3 Franz Rosenzweig Material
box 3 Friedrich Holderlin Material
box 3 Gershom Scholem Material
box 3 Gespräch im Gebirg Material
box 3 Gisela Dischner Material
box 3 Helly Oestreicher Artwork
box 3 Ilana Shmueli Material
box 3 Israel Chalfen Material
box 3 Jerry Glenn Material
box 3 "Lesen Sie! Immerzu nur lessen, das Verstandnis kommt von selbst" (photocopy)
box 3 Luitgard WundheilerGrowing Up in Nazi Germany (2 folders)
box 3 Martin Heidegger Material (2 folders)
box 4 "Mother Tongue, Holy Tongue" Lecture Material
box 4 "The Mother Tongue of Paul Celan: Loss & Language" Material
box 4 Musical Compositions
box 4 Natan Zach Article
box 4 Nelly Sachs Material
box 4 Notes on Jews and Germans
box 4 Notes on Literary Translation (6 folders)
box 4 "On Not Translating the Hebrew in Paul Celan's Poetry" Notes
box 4 Osip Mandelstam Material
box 4 Paul Celan Awards
box 4 Paul Celan Images
box 4 Paul Celan Material (6 folders)
box 4 Paul Celan Permissions
box 4 Paul Celan Publication Material
box 4 Paul Celan Reviews (7 folders)
box 4 Paul Sars Material
box 4 Petre Solomon Material
box 4 Royalty Statements
box 4 Der Sand aus den Urnen (photocopy)
box 4 Selected Poems and Prose of Paul Celan Notes
box 4 Selected Poems and Prose of Paul Celan Reviews
box 5 Todesfuge Articles
box 5 "Translating Celan" Notes
box 5 Translations of Celan (not by Felstiner) (5 folders)
box 5 Weg der Verklarung (photocopy)
box 5 "Die Winzer" Notes
box 5 Yves Bonnefoy Material
Pablo Neruda
box 5 Articles on Neruda
box 5 Chile Coup Materials 1973
box 5 Public Readings
box 5 Translating Neruda Awards
box 5 Translating Neruda Correspondence
box 5 Translating Neruda Material (3 folders)
box 5 Translating Neruda Reviews
box 5 Vendome Press
box 5 American Literary Translators Association (ALTA) Material
box 5 American Literary Translators Association (ALTA) Newsletters
box 5 Permissions Material (2 folders)
box 5 Treatise on Poetry by Czeslaw Milosz
III. Correspondence
Arranged first by individual correspondents, followed by general. Professional correspondence is organized by the name of the organization, not the personal name (e.g., Yale University Press). Some correspondence can be found in other series in order to provide context for other materials.
box 5 Abramsky, Chimen 1984-2006
box 5 Bonnefoy, Yves 1997-2008
box 5 Celan-Lestrange, Gisele 1984-1991
box 5 Celan, Eric 1992-2001
box 5 Glenn, Jerry 1983-2002
box 5 Hamlin, Cyrus 1973-1995
box 5 Jarvis, Harry 2001
box 6 Ozick, Cynthia 1988-2011
box 6 Paul Celan responses, Authors A-E
box 6 Paul Celan responses, Authors F-K
box 6 Paul Celan responses, Authors L
box 6 Paul Celan responses, Authors M
box 6 Paul Celan responses, Authors N-Z
box 6 Roloff, Michael 1999-2000
box 6 Sheep Meadow Press 1994-1995
box 6 Shmueli, Ilana 1983-1996
box 6 Solomon, Petre 1983-1998
box 6 Wiesel, Elie 1981-2008
box 6 Yale University Press 1991-1994
box 6 Yale University Press 1995-2010
box 6 General Correspondence, A-B
box 6 General Correspondence, C-E
box 6 General Correspondence, F
box 6 General Correspondence, G
box 6 General Correspondence, H
box 6 General Correspondence, I-K
box 6 General Correspondence, L
box 6 General Correspondence, M-O
box 6 General Correspondence, P-Ri
box 6 General Correspondence, Ro-So
box 6 General Correspondence, Sp-Wh
box 6 General Correspondence, Wi-Z
IV. Lecture and Conference Materials
box 7 "Colloque Paul Celan" Conference 1984
box 7 Lilly Library Presentation
box 7 Notes & Materials 1975-1984
box 7 Notes & Materials 1985-1994
box 7 Notes & Materials 1995
box 7 Notes & Materials 1996
box 7 Notes & Materials 1997-1998
box 7 Notes & Materials 1999-2001
box 7 Notes & Materials 2002-2011
box 7 "Paul Celan: Biographie et Interpretation
box 7 "Translation and Poetic Evaluation" Conference Notes 1985
V. Course Materials
box 7 Seminar on American Literature
box 7 Seminar on Literary Translation (6 folders)
VI. Audio-Visual Materials
box 7 Musical Compositions (CD and cassette tape)
VII. Publications
box 7 American Poetry Review 1976-2004
box 7 Babel, Numbers 2-4 1983-1985
box 7 Babel, Numbers 6-7 1990-1993
box 7 Babel, Numbers 8-9 1994-1995
box 7 Center for Inter-American Relations 1980
box 8 Co-Cr 1980-2000
box 8 Dachauer Hefte 1995
box 8 G-L 1974-1977
box 8 Ma-Mi 2002-2009
box 8 Mo 1975-1983
box 8 North Dakota Quarterly 1991
box 8 Northwest Review 1993-2006
box 8 O-P 1975-1987
box 8 P 1978-2005
box 8 Sequoia 1976-1977
box 8 Sequoia 1983-1990
box 8 S-T 1984-2006
box 8 Two Lines 1995
box 8 Two Lines 2007
box 8 Yale Review 1972