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RilkeThe Life of the Work$
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Charlie Louth

Print publication date: 2020

Print ISBN-13: 9780198813231

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2020

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780198813231.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 08 December 2021

The Interim I: 1907–1914

The Interim I: 1907–1914

(p.246) 7 The Interim I: 1907–1914

Charlie Louth

Oxford University Press

This is the first of two chapters looking in detail at the fascinating but uncollected and often unpublished verse Rilke wrote between finishing Malte (and slightly before) and completing the Duineser Elegien. This chapter takes us up to the First World War and to the poem ‘Wendung’. Rilke himself tended to disregard this work because it seemed incidental to his main intention of writing the Elegies, and until recently most critics have followed him. The prime aim is to draw attention to a number of important poems, some of which still disturb the general view of Rilke that stems from his better-known works (poems such as ‘Der Geist Ariel’ or the Gedichte an die Nacht). It provides readings of these, and also deals with translations from the period, especially of Shakespeare’s third sonnet, of Leopardi’s ‘L’Infinito’ and of some of Mallarmé’s sonnets. There emerges a glimpse of an alternative Rilke, of the poets he might have become had he not fixed his sights so resolutely on the Duineser Elegien.

Keywords:   uncollected verse, exposure, experiment, Duino, Shakespeare

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