Rainer Maria Rilke and Lou Andreas-Salome: The Correspondence

Rainer Maria Rilke and Lou Andreas-Salome: The Correspondence

by Rainer Maria Rilke, Lou Andreas-Salome
     
 

The complete extant correspondence between a key fin-de-siecle intellectual and one of the most revered poets of the twentieth century.
He would become one of the most important poets of the twentieth century; she was the über-muse of Europe's turn-of-the-century thinkers and artists. In this never-before-translated collection of letters spanning almost

Overview

The complete extant correspondence between a key fin-de-siecle intellectual and one of the most revered poets of the twentieth century.
He would become one of the most important poets of the twentieth century; she was the über-muse of Europe's turn-of-the-century thinkers and artists. In this never-before-translated collection of letters spanning almost thirty years, the poet Rainer Maria Rilke and Lou Andreas-Salomé, a writer and intellectual fourteen years his senior, pen a relationship that moves from that of lovers to that of mentor and protégé, to that of deepest personal and literary allies. From the time of their first meeting and consequent affair to Rilke's death in 1926, Rilke and Salomé reeled through extremes of love, pain, annoyance, desire, and need—yet guided each other in one of the most fruitful artistic exchanges in twentieth-century literature. Despite illness, distance, and emotional and psychological pain, they managed to cultivate, through strikingly honest prose, an enduring and indispensable friendship, a decades-long heartfelt dialogue that encompassed love, art, and the imagination.

Editorial Reviews

The New Yorker
When Rilke first met Salomé, in 1897, he was twenty-one, an aspiring poet, and she was a married woman of thirty-six who had published a multitude of books and essays on philosophical and literary subjects.Their correspondence was initially one-sided—Rilke, besotted, sent a torrent of mail, while Salomé wished she could make him “go completely away”—but the two developed a passionate partnership as friends, lovers, confidants, and counsellors. This collection of some two hundred letters, written over nearly three decades, enriches our picture of Rilke and Salomé with curious details: Rilke makes arrangements for Salomé’s beloved dog, in advance of a visit; Salomé, practicing in mid-life as a psychoanalyst, claims success treating patients with Rilke’s poems: “They heard your tone as that of Life.”
Library Journal
This book collects the complete surviving correspondence of Rilke and Salome and is translated by Snow, who has worked on many of Rilke's writings, and Winkler, Snow's fellow professor at Rice University. Rilke is a familiar figure, but his correspondent, Salome, may be less well known to contemporary readers. However, when they first met, Rilke was unknown, and Salome was a widely published author, with far-reaching personal connections (she was involved with Nietzsche and studied psychoanalysis with Sigmund Freud). The two started as lovers and after a period of separation became friends and constant correspondents. As this collection reveals, Rilke's letters are long and full of rich language, although he is continually suffering from poverty, ill health, and, moreover, great uncertainty as to what course he should pursue for growing as an artist. Salome's responses are generally shorter, practical, and intended to reassure the insecure poet. While neither correspondent dwells much on the details of everyday life, the letters reveal much about European intellectual life in the early 20th century. Highly recommended for all academic libraries.-Amy K. Weiss, Univ. of California, Santa Barbara Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780393049763
Publisher:
Norton, W. W. & Company, Inc.
Publication date:
06/26/2006
Pages:
704
Product dimensions:
6.50(w) x 9.50(h) x 1.50(d)

Related Subjects

Meet the Author

Rainer Maria Rilke (1875-1926) is considered one of the greatest poets who ever wrote in the German language. His most famous works are Sonnets to Orpheus, The Duino Elegies, Letters to a Young Poet, and The Notebooks of Malte Laurids Brigge.

His collected work is comprised of hundreds of other poems, essays, plays, and stories.

Lou Andreas-Salomé (1861–1937) is an important figure in the lives of many Western thinkers and artists. A Russian-born psychoanalyst and author, her diverse interests led to influential relationships with an array of intellectuals, including Nietzsche, Freud, and Rilke.

Edward Snow is an award-winning translator of the poetry and prose of Rilke. He is a professor at Rice University and lives in Houston, Texas.

Michael Winkler has written extensively on modern poetry and fiction. He is a professor at Rice University and lives in Houston, Texas.

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