A biography of rainer maria rilke

Rilke was born in the Austro-Hungarian Empire, travelled extensively throughout Europe and North Africa, including Russia, Spain, Germany, France, Italy, and in his later years settled in Switzerland—settings that were key to the genesis and inspiration for many of his poems. While Rilke is most known for his contributions to German literature, over poems were originally written in French and dedicated to the canton of Valais in Switzerland. Among English-language readers, his best-known works include the poetry collections Duino Elegies and Sonnets to Orpheus, the semi-autobiographical novel The Notebooks of Malte Laurids Brigge, and a collection of ten letters that was published after his death under the title Letters to a Young Poet. In the later 20th century, his work has found new audiences through its use by New Age theologians and self-help authors, and through frequent quoting in television programs, books and motion pictures.

A biography of rainer maria rilke

With regard to the former, W. While Shakespeare, for example, thought of the non-human world in terms of the human, Rilke thinks of the human in terms of the non-human, of what he calls Things Dinge.

Rejecting the Catholic beliefs of his parents as well as Christianity in general, the poet strove throughout his life to reconcile beauty and suffering, life and death, into one philosophy.

Bowra observed in Rainer Maria Rilke: Aspects of His Mind and Poetry, "Where others have found a unifying principle for themselves in religion or morality or the search for truth, Rilke found his in the search for impressions and the hope these could be turned into poetry For him Art was what mattered most in life.

His father was a retired officer in the Austrian army who worked as a railroad official; his mother, a socially ambitious and possessive woman. At age eleven Rilke began his formal schooling at a military boarding academy, and inless than a year after transferring to a secondary military school, he was discharged due to health problems, from which he would suffer throughout his life.

He immediately returned to Prague, to find that his parents had divorced in his absence. In his first book of verse, Leben und Lieder: Bilder und Tagebuchblatter, was published.

By Rilke had enrolled in the philosophy program at Charles-Ferdinand University, but soon became disenchanted with his studies and left Prague for Munich, ostensibly to study art.

Visiting Venice inRilke met Lou Andreas-Salome, a married woman fifteen years his senior, who was also a strong influence on Rilke. After spending the summer of with her in the Bavarian Alps, Rilke accompanied Salome and her husband to Berlin in late and to Italy the following year.

His poems of this period show the influence of the German folk song tradition and have been compared to the lyrical work of Heinrich Heine. Dictionary of Literary Biography contributor George C. In Rilke made the first of two pivotal trips to Russia with Salome, discovering what he termed his "spiritual fatherland" in both the people and the landscape.

There Rilke met Leo Tolstoy, L. Pasternak father of Boris Pasternakand the peasant poet Spiridon Droschin, whose works Rilke translated into German. These trips provided Rilke with the poetic material and inspiration essential to his developing philosophy of existential materialism and art as religion.

Vom moenchischen Leben; Von der Pilgerschaft; Von der Armuth und vom Tode, a collection that "marked for him the end of an epoch," according to Bowra and others.

Because of this concern, Hound and Horn critic Hester Pickman noted that the book "might have fallen out of the writings of Christian contemplatives," except that "the essential pattern is an inversion of theirs.

God is not light but darkness—not a father, but a son, not the creator but the created. He and not man is our neighbor for men are infinitely far from each other. They must seek God, not where one or two are gathered in His name, but alone.

But despite being a "very beautiful" book, it also "remains too constantly abstract. It lacks the solid reality of great poetry," according to Pickman. Rilke fixed his verse more firmly in reality in his next major poetry collection, Neue Gedichte New Poems.

He referred to this type of poetry as Dinggedichte thing poems.

A biography of rainer maria rilke

These verses employed a simple vocabulary to describe concrete subjects experienced in everyday life. Having learned the skill of perceptive observation from Rodin and, later, from the French painter Paul Cezanne, Rilke "sustained for a little while the ability to write without inspiration, to transform his observations—indeed his whole life—into art," according to Nancy Willardauthor of Testimony of the Invisible Man.

In her book, Rainer Maria Rilke, E. So that his mythological dream, the apotheosis of art, appeared to be founded on delusion. Either art was not as creative as he had thought, or he was not such a great artist.

Both these doubts were paralyzing, and quite sufficient to account for the terrible apprehension present in every line of Malte Laurids Brigge. For this skepticism struck at the roots of his reason and justification for existence.

Either he was the prophet of a new religion, or he was nobody. Duino Elegies "might well be called the greatest set of poems of modern times," claimed Colin Wilson, author of Religion and the Rebel.Rainer Maria Rilke was born December 4, in Prague, the only child of an unhappy marriage which eventually dissolved.

Rilke’s childhood was an unhappy one, being placed into military school by his parents who desired that he become an officer.

Search in the poems of Rainer Maria Rilke: René Karl Wilhelm Johann Josef Maria Rilke (German pronunciation: [ˈʁaɪnɐ maˈʁiːa ˈʁɪlkə]), better known as Rainer Maria Rilke, was a Bohemian-Austrian poet.

He is considered one of the most significant poets in the German language. His haunting. René Karl Wilhelm Johann Josef Maria Rilke — better known as Rainer Maria Rilke — was a Bohemian-Austrian poet and novelist, "widely recognized as one of the most lyrically intense German-language poets", writing in both verse and highly lyrical prose.

René Karl Wilhelm Johann Josef Maria Rilke (4 December – 29 December ), better known as Rainer Maria Rilke (German: [ˈʁaɪnɐ maˈʁiːa ˈʁɪlkə]), was a Bohemian-Austrian poet and novelist.

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Rainer Maria Rilke | Poetry Foundation