The Duino Elegies

The Duino Elegies

by Rainer Maria Rilke, Leslie Norris, Alan Keele
     
 

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Perhaps no cycle of poems in any European language has made so profound and lasting an impact on an English-speaking readership as Rilke's Duino Elegies. These luminous new translations by Martyn Crucefix, facing the original German texts, make it marvellously clear how the poem is committed to the real world observed with acute and visionary intensity.

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Overview

Perhaps no cycle of poems in any European language has made so profound and lasting an impact on an English-speaking readership as Rilke's Duino Elegies. These luminous new translations by Martyn Crucefix, facing the original German texts, make it marvellously clear how the poem is committed to the real world observed with acute and visionary intensity.

Completed in 1922, the same year as the publication of Eliot's The Waste Land, the Elegies constitute a magnificent godless poem in their rejection of the transcendent and their passionate celebration of the here and now. Troubled by our insecure place in this world and our fractured relationship with death, the Elegies are nevertheless populated by a throng of vivid and affecting figures: acrobats, lovers, angels, mothers, fathers, statues, salesmen, actors and children. This bilingual edition offers twenty-first century readers a new opportunity to experience the power of Rilke's enduring masterpiece.

Editorial Reviews

Brian Phillips
For a decade and a half...snow has gradually been building a reputation as Rilke's best contemporary translator in English. His version of the Elegies should cement that reputation, and elevate it: Snow may be the best translator that Rilke has ever had.
The New Republic
Booknews
Waterfield who received a doctorate in classics and English literature at Christ Church, Oxford and has worked as a music instructor in the UK and Germany, offers what he considers a poetic, rather than literal, translation of Rainer Marie Rilke's "The Duino Elegies." A brief introduction to Rilke and this collection of poems, is followed by both the original German and English translation of the ten elegies, with additional introductions before each poem. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781571133915
Publisher:
Boydell & Brewer, Limited
Publication date:
06/15/2008
Series:
Studies in German Literature Linguistics and Culture
Pages:
76
Product dimensions:
6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.19(d)

Read an Excerpt

Who, if I cried out, would hear me among the angelic

orders? And even if one of them pressed me

suddenly to his heart: I'd be consumed

in his stronger existence. For beauty is nothing

but the beginning of terror, which we can just barely endure,

and we stand in awe of it as it coolly disdains

to destroy us. Every angel is terrifying.

-from "The First Elegy"

What People are saying about this

Denise Levertov
"Far and away Rilke's best contemporary translator."

Meet the Author


Rainer Maria Rilke (also Rainer Maria von Rilke) (4 December 1875 - 29 December 1926) is considered one of the German language's greatest 20th century poets. His haunting images focus on the difficulty of communion with the ineffable in an age of disbelief, solitude, and profound anxiety - themes that tend to position him as a transitional figure between the traditional and the modernist poets. He wrote in both verse and a highly lyrical prose. His two most famous verse sequences are the Sonnets to Orpheus and the Duino Elegies; his two most famous prose works are the Letters to a Young Poet and the semi-autobiographical The Notebooks of Malte Laurids Brigge. He also wrote more than 400 poems in French, dedicated to his homeland of choice, the canton of Valais in Switzerland.

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