The most significant European poet of the second half of the twentieth century, Paul Celan, viewed poetry as 'the language of an individual that has become form', an individual that is constructed through the act of observation in the poem. In "Poetry as Individuality: The Discourse of Observation in Paul Celan" Derek Hillard argues that individuality is the crux of poetry for Celan because the Holocaust effectively eviscerated the individual. Hillard investigates the core figures of individuality in Celan's poetry and prose: semblance, madness, and the wound. Celan's enigmatic poetry of a depopulated textual universe has perplexed critics. The book argues that the poetry's figures have a common source - the discourse of observation from the fields of appearance, perception, and the mind.