Published in 1910 "The Notebooks of Malte Laurids Brigge" is a semi autobiographical novel by Rainer Maria Rilke. It was first released in the United States as Journal of My Other Self. The novel is written using an expressionism form. It reads as random thoughts by the author. In it he not only tells the story of an … [Read more...] about The Notebooks of Malte Laurids Brigge
Rainer Maria Rilke
Rainer Maria Rilke was born Rene Karl Wilhelm Johann Josef Maria Rilke in Prague in 1875. He was a poet and a novelist. His parents had lost a daughter at a week old before Rilke was born so they never connected with him. The loss colored the relationships with his parents. His mother would dress him like a girl in trying to recover her lost daughter. When he was nine years old his parents divorced. Although he was artistic and a poet his parents pressured him into entering the military academy. Soon his illnesses led to his leaving the academy and returning home in 1891.
At the age of twenty one he entered the university in Prague and then went to Munich. At these colleges he studied literature, art history and philosophy. When he was twenty two he met Lou Andreas-Salome. She was older, married and intellegent. They were together for three years and after their romance ended they remained friends the rest of his life. She had trained under Sigmund Freud and psychoanalyzed him quite often. She also was a font of information for his writing.
While staying in an artists' colony at Worpswede he met his wife Clara Westhoff. They had a daughter, Ruth a year later. In 1902 Rilke was eager to escape the house with a crying baby and jumped at the offer to write a thesis on Auguste Rodin in Paris. Soon his wife realized he was stretching his stay in Paris out and left Ruth with hr parents in order to follow him. Although the couple would have liked to get a divorce, his Catholicism prevented it.
Although he was a poet, Rilke learned a lot while working with Rodin. The sculptor helped him in defining his poetry into a sound of an incantation. It used repetitiveness and dramatic, flowery words to hide the actual meaning. His poetry, like Rodin's sculpting and Cezanne's paintings, would be open for interpretation by the individual.
In Ronda, southern Spain, Rilke spent a great deal of his time at the Hotel Reina Victoria. The room he stayed in had been transformed into a museum for him. But after renovations, his personal effects and the furniture he used was placed in a glassed in case near the spa. There is also a bronze statue of Rilke there.
Rilke was a world traveler. He was in Europe, Russia, Spain, Germany, France, Italy, and Switzerland. His travels were used as inspiration for his poetry. He wrote over four hundred poems.
Throughout his life his health was precarious. In 1926 he died of leukemia and was buried in the Raron cemetery near Visp in Switzerland. He had been staying at the Valmont Sanatorium there.
A lyrical poet, Rilke wrote in German. He wrote in both verse and lyrical prose. He used words to form images of the feelings of anxiety and alienation in a world that was becoming more scientific and industrial. Rilke was an existentialist at a time that helped transition writing from traditional to modernist.