Peter Goßens

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Peter Goßens (* 24 March 1966 in Moers) is a German comparatist and literary scholar.


After graduating from the Städtisches Gymnasium Thomaeum in Kempen, Goßens studied Comparative Literature, Modern German Studies and Italian Studies in Bonn and Pisa. In 1998 he received his doctorate in Bonn for a thesis on Paul Celan’s translation of Ungaretti. He completed his habilitation in Bochum in 2011(Weltliteratur. Models of transnational literary perception in the 19th century). He worked on the exhibitions Fremde Nähe. Paul Celan as Translator (Deutsches Literaturarchiv, Marbach am Neckar 1997) and Displaced. Paul Celan in Vienna (1947/1948). From 1998 to 2004 he was a research assistant at the Institute for Comparative Literature at the Westphalian Wilhelms University in Münster. Since 2006, he has been a research associate (Akademischer Rat) in the Comparative Literature Section of the Ruhr-Universität Bochum. In 2017 he was appointed as apl. prof. for General and Comparative Literature at the Ruhr-Universität Bochum. He is a member of the German Society for General and Comparative Literature (DGAVL).


As author and editor
  • Paul Celan’s Ungaretti Translation. Edition und Kommentar (= Neues Forum für Allgemeine und Vergleichende Literaturwissenschaft, 9). Carl Winter, Heidelberg 2000 (incl. Univ.-Diss. Bonn 1998)
  • “Strange Proximity. Paul Celan as Translator. An exhibition by the German Literature Archive in conjunction with the Presidential Department of the City of Zurich at the Schiller National Museum in Marbach am Neckar and at Strauhof Zurich. Exhibition and catalogue: Axel Gellhaus and Rolf Bücher, Sabria Filali, Peter Goßens, Ute Harbusch, Thomas Heck, Christine Ivanovic, Andreas Lohr, Barbara Wiedemann with the collaboration of Petra Plättner. Deutsches Literaturarchiv, Marbach am Neckar 1997 (Marbach Catalogues, 50).
  • “We do it to have fun together”. Samuel Beckett at the SDR in Stuttgart. Deutsches Literaturarchiv, Marbach am Neckar 2000 (Spuren 50).
  • with Markus G. Patka (ed.): “Displaced”. Paul Celan in Wien 1947/1948. Suhrkamp, Frankfurt am Main 2001.
  • “Something like a Bukovina school of poets […]”. Ernst Schönwieses Briefwechsel mit Dichtern aus der Bukowina (1947/1948). Rimbaud, Aachen 2011.
  • Giuseppe Bevilacqua: In Search of the Breath Crystal. Celan Studies (Poetry and Language, vol. 19). Translated from the Italian by Peter Goßens and Marianne Schneider. Hanser, Munich 2004.
  • Agglutinati all’oggi. Attached, seamlessly, to today. Paul Celan translates Giuseppe Ungaretti. Manuscripts. First printing. Documents. Insel, Frankfurt am Main 2006.
  • with Markus May, Jürgen Lehmann (eds.): Celan Handbuch. Leben – Werk – Wirkung. J.B. Metzler, Stuttgart and Weimar 2008, 2nd edition 2012.
  • “Bildung der Nation”. On the Project of a “World Literature in the German Language”. In: Wirkendes Wort, Jg. 59 (2009), H. 3, pp. 423-442.
  • Carl Ritter and World Literature. On the early history of the “spatial turn”. In: Michael Eggers (ed.): Von Ähnlichkeiten und Unterschieden. Comparison, Analogy and Classification in Science and Literature (18th/19th century). Winter, Heidelberg 2011, pp. 91-120.
  • World Literature. Modelle transnationaler Literaturwahrnehmung im 19. Jahrhundert. J.B. Metzler, Stuttgart 2011.
  • Working on the source code. Radical Translations of Shakespeare’s Sonnets. In: Comparative Literature. Jahrbuch der Deutschen Gesellschaft für Allgemeine und Vergleichende Literaturwissenschaft, ISSN 1432-5306, Jg. 2012 (2013), pp. 119-135 (revised version of inaugural lecture Bochum, 23 November 2011).
  • Photo album, museum, catalogue. Narrative Models in Recent Narrative Literature. In: Monika Schmitz-Emans, Christian A. Bachmann (eds.): Bücher als Kunstwerke. From Literature to the Artist’s Book. Chr. A. Bachmann, Essen 2013, pp. 173-200
  • with Monika Schmitz-Emans (ed.): Weltliteratur aus der DDR. Relektüren. Chr. A. Bachmann, Berlin 2014 (forum texte & projekte, 5.2).
  • with Monika Schmitz-Emans (ed.): Weltliteratur in der DDR. Debates – Reception – Cultural Policy. Chr. A. Bachmann, Berlin 2015 (forum texte & projekte, 5.1).
  • The Weatherglow of World Literature. A debate around 1900. In: Monatshefte für deutschsprachige Literatur und Kultur, ISSN 0026-9271, vol. 108 (2016), no. 3. (Special issue Measuring the ‘World’), pp. 332-349.
  • Margins and Cities. Karl-Markus Gauss’ Central European Research. In: Andrej Corbea-Hoisie, Ion Lihaciu (eds.): “Toposforschung (…) im Lichte der U-topie”. Literary discussions in/from Central Eastern Europe. Editura Universitǎţii “Alexandru Ioan Cuza”, Iaşi 2017, pp. 123-137.
  • “Heart Wall by Heart Wall”. Paul Celan und Nelly Sachs als “Zeugen” in Anne Michaels und Bernice Eisenstein’s “Correspondences”. In: Hans-Michael Speier (ed.): Celan-Jahrbuch, Jg. 10 (2018), pp. 295-319.
  • Paul Celan’s poems – edited and annotated. On the occasion of the ‘Neue kommentierte Gesamtausgabe’ (2018). In: Bernd Auerochs; Friederike Felicitas Günther; Markus May (eds.): Celan-Perspektiven 2019. Heidelberg: Winter, 2019, pp. 179-199.

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