Rainer Maria Rilke's 'Gedichte An Die Nacht': An Essay in Interpretation

Overview

The Gedichte an die Nacht is a collection of 22 poems composed between January 1913 and February 1914, which Rilke copied into a manuscript book for his friend Rudolf Kassner in about 1916. The importance of the poems as a collection lies in the fact that they were written during the period of composition of Rilke's most outstanding work, the Duinese Elegien, and they show the poet at work on ideas and motifs which are central to the elegies. The first part of the book analyses the poems thematically, whilst the ...

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Overview

The Gedichte an die Nacht is a collection of 22 poems composed between January 1913 and February 1914, which Rilke copied into a manuscript book for his friend Rudolf Kassner in about 1916. The importance of the poems as a collection lies in the fact that they were written during the period of composition of Rilke's most outstanding work, the Duinese Elegien, and they show the poet at work on ideas and motifs which are central to the elegies. The first part of the book analyses the poems thematically, whilst the second part gives the results of this analysis wider application. During the period Rilke was writing Gedichte an die Nacht, the meaning of 'night' in the Elegies often approaches that of 'angel', whilst at other times it is quite different. Dr Stephens traces the genesis of this ambivalence in other poems, revealing the incomplete and sometimes contradictory nature of his poetic thought.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780521155564
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press
  • Publication date: 11/25/2010
  • Series: Anglica Germanica Series 2 Series
  • Edition description: Reissue
  • Pages: 264
  • Product dimensions: 5.51 (w) x 8.50 (h) x 0.59 (d)

Table of Contents

Preface; Abbreviations; Introduction; Part I. Interpretation of the 'Gedichte an die Nacht': 1. Die spanische Trilogie; 2. The encounter with the night; 3. The night and the lovers; 4. The night and the angel; Part II. Developments and Conclusions: 5. The meaning of 'nacht'; 6. The human situation; 7. The modes of transcendence; 8. An approach to Rilke; Notes; Bibliography; Index.

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