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By George C. Schoolfield

Even supposing Rainer Maria Rilke and his paintings were a lot studied and written approximately during the last century -- as befits the probably most vital German-language poet of recent instances -- definite features of his formative years and occupation were missed or are short of a clean glance. for that reason, this ebook investigates Rilke's existence and profession from youth till the verge of thirty. right here the reader reveals the hysterical, harried tutee clinging to Valerie von Rhonfeld; the smart, supercilious, and concerned stroller via Prague of Larenopfer; the narcissistic diarist preening for Lou Andreas-Salomé in Italy and in different places; the priggishly high-minded yet deadly reviewer of German-language literature; the dedicated yet delusional presenter of Nordic letters. a last part makes a speciality of 13 poems or poem clusters composed among 1892 and 1900 and as a rule left untouched through Rilke scholarship. whereas based seriously at the proof of the texts themselves, the current writer permits himself to conjecture approximately, for example, the lines left by means of the boy's hasty education in Latin; his wisdom -- or lack of awareness -- of Czech nationwide opera and renowned literature; the genesis of a few willfully "decadent" poems; his atypical literary likes and dislikes; etc. From this "Wirrnis" (confusion, litter; certainly one of his favourite words), the younger Rilke emerges as a dogged self-educator, and, for all his laments and insecurities and languorous poses, a determine of contrast, proficient with a virtually preternatural verbal inventiveness and recondite power. George C. Schoolfield is Emeritus Professor of German and Scandinavian Literature at Yale.

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