Rilke and Andreas-Salomé: A Love Story in Letters

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9780393331905: Rilke and Andreas-Salomé: A Love Story in Letters

"Immensely readable...a significant piece of scholarship."?Fred Volkmer, New York Sun

He would become one of the most important poets of the twentieth century; she a muse of Europe's fin-de-siecle 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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About 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.

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.

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

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.
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