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Ryan Ruby

Ryan Ruby is the author of The Zero and the One: A Novel (Twelve Books, 2017) and a book-length poem, Context Collapse, which was a finalist for the 2020 National Poetry Series Competition. His writing has appeared in Poetry, Conjunctions, the NYR Daily, the Paris Review Daily, and elsewhere. In 2019, he received the Albert Einstein Fellowship from the Einstein Forum in Potsdam. He lives in Berlin.


<i>Memory Rose into Threshold Speech: The Collected Earlier Poetry</i>. By Paul Celan. Translated from the German by Pierre Joris.

To Give Saying Its Shadow

December 3, 2020 | Criticism

On June 28, 1942, Victor Klemperer wrote in his diary, “Even if I hated Germany, I would not thereby become un-German, I could not tear what was German out of me.” A Protestant convert of Jewish parentage, Klemperer had been forced out of his position as a professor of Romance languages at the Technical University of Dresden following the Nazi “dejudification” of the civil service. His car had been confiscated; his cat, euthanized; his house, “Aryanized.” He and his wife, Eva, were forced to move into a Jews’ House, where they roomed with a number of other families, all of whom were subject to constant surveillance and harassment by the Gestapo. He performed forced labor in a segregated factory, and lived on the brink of starvation.