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Rilke And Andreas Salome [Paperback]

Rainer Maria Rilke , Salome Lou Andreas , Snow , Winkler

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Book Description

May 27 2008
A Love Story in Letters

Translated and annotated by Edward Snow and Michael Winkler

He would become one of the most important poets of the twentieth century; she a muse of Europe's fin-de-siècle thinkers and artists. In this collection of letters, a finalist for the PEN USA translation award, the poet Rainer Maria Rilke and Lou Andreas-Salomé, a writer and intellectual fourteen years his senior, pen a relationship that spans thirty years and shifting boundaries: as lovers, as mentor and protégé, and as deep personal and literary allies.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 462 pages
  • Publisher: WW Norton; Reprint edition (May 27 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0393331903
  • ISBN-13: 978-0393331905
  • Product Dimensions: 21.9 x 13.9 x 2.6 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 699 g
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #320,311 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

From Publishers Weekly

With more than twenty-five years of correspondence between "two old scribblers," world-renowned writer Rainer Maria Rilke and his sounding-board, one-time lover, friend and mentor Lou Andreas-Salome, Snow and Winkler have gathered an intimate portrait of an important literary relationship. Unfortunately, a falling-out in 1901 led Andreas-Salome to demand Rilke burn all the letters she had sent to him, which he obliged, making it difficult, in the beginning, to understand the nuance of their romance. As a poet courting an older, married woman, Rilke's early letters are fervid and eager, full of overblown romantic revelations: "all the roses in the world bloom for you and by means of you ... and only through an act of royal condescension do you maintain the pretense that they aren't really yours and allow Spring to keep them." Later, when Andreas-Salome's voice chimes in, the pair settle into a more introspective exchange, one frequently troubled by the insecure poet's vascillation between elation and despondency. Translated into elegant but stiff prose by Snow and Winkler, professors at Rice University who translated Rilke's Diaries of a Young Poet, this work is lustrous and illuminating, a perfect companion for fans of Rilke's poetry and the literary world of the early 20th century. 16 pages of illustrations.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

From Booklist

This is an invaluable collection uniting translations of the entire existing correspondence between the remarkable German poet Rainer Maria Rilke and his psychoanalyst-muse Lou Andreas-Salome. The letters confirm such details as Rilke's name change from Rene to Rainer at Lou's urging, and Lou's involvement with the distinguished turn-of-the-century thinkers Freud and Nietzsche. More importantly, the book offers a fascinating glimpse into a profound 29-year friendship that arced from infatuation to sexual intimacy, frustration to separation, enlightenment to respect. The letters reveal in both tender and insightful prose Rilke's creative and mental insecurities, along with his enormous poetic talent and innovative thinking. To call Andreas-Salome a muse would be to miss her uncanny grasp of Rilke's art, mind, and soul. She often brilliantly verbalized what he was about better than he, anticipating growth and outcomes he seemed unable to envision. Although beginning as mentor and idealized mother figure, Lou developed into a confidant and near-priestly advisor, able to not only appreciate but also tenderly nurture Rilke's creative genius. Janet St. John
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4.8 out of 5 stars  4 reviews
12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Beauty and the Bitumen July 4 2008
By D. Laurie - Published on
There is no reviewing correspondence. There is present either only the (inevitably) voyueristic pleasure of gazing into dead mens dreams, or nothing at all, at which point we set the book down, and carry on composing our own secrets.
But the idea of positing a critical eye on one's letters (unless they are means exclusive of a recepient, as with Seneca) seems to me to be entirely ridiculous.
I can only say that I was happy to the point of giddiness to discover the recently published letters between Rilke and Andreas-Salome.
I devoured the book whole, and found myself inspired by Rilke's early uncertanties, and the almost frighteningly composed replies of his one time lover, now become mentor. It offered a glimpse into the world of this beautiful poet, who previously, seemed to have sprung fully formed into the author of the Duino Elegies, as though he were always the master we have come to admire.
And here, beset by dread, here overcome by an almost childish enthusiasm, we find him not stripped of his title rather enriched by his likeness to ourselves. And it's as though we always sensed beneath the richness of his language a kinship we could never adaquetely define, here at last the inexplicable is made manifest.
I do not speak to Andreas-Salome, she does not move me, but she was a freind of Rilke's and therefore deserves at least our respect.
If you are curious about the genesis and flowering of a poet, you will find no better testament than this collection, and much like the Memoirs of Pablo Neruda, you will find in the simplest relation, a poetry unto itself.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars gorgeous March 28 2013
By TalkingWoman - Published on
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Rilke lends the same exquisite clarity and rapture to romantic love as he does to his brilliantly tender hearted observations of the spirit.
5.0 out of 5 stars Simply amazing. March 26 2014
By Book Lover - Published on
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Being that this was one of my impulse purchases, I was surprised when I found myself still awake at 4am pouring over the pages, unable to put it down. Rilke invites the reader (Lou Salome) into his innermost thoughts and psyche in such a visceral and eloquent way. You begin to often see yourself in his words and it sends your mind racing. This alone would be enough. But having it countered by Lou's (often paradigm-shifting) deep understanding and almost clinical input - it makes for one of the most intellectual and enlightened dialogues of the 20th century.

This book can feed your soul, if you let it.
6 of 11 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Strange and intimate June 26 2007
By DOROTHY - Published on
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Wow!! It lets you inside so much intimacy and thoughts. A great read and an interesting learning experience.

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