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Diaries of a Young Poet

4.18  ·  Rating Details  ·  116 Ratings  ·  4 Reviews
In April 1898 Rainer Maria Rilke, not yet twenty-three, began a diary of his Florence visit. It was to record, in the form of an imaginary dialogue with his mentor and then-lover, Lou Andreas-Salome, his firsthand experiences of early Renaissance art. The project quickly expanded to include not only thoughts on life, history, and artistic genius, but also unguarded moments ...more
Paperback, 336 pages
Published November 17th 1998 by W. W. Norton & Company (first published 1997)
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Roger Mohr
Jul 01, 2013 Roger Mohr rated it really liked it
Shelves: memoirs
Remarkably lucid writing for a twenty something, but then we are talking about one of the truly great poets. Much here about the importance of solitude and the very individual nature of artistic creation and achievement - Rilke is no fan of the masses. Perhaps the most interesting indirect piece is the patterns of relationships and daily life for Rilke and his friends. I opened this mostly as a writer interested in the working patterns of other writers, an issue I am struggling with at the momen ...more
Ann M
Aug 28, 2007 Ann M rated it it was amazing
Shelves: nonfiction
"Imagine: when instead of peoples, nations, families and societies, we shall some day have human beings, when one can no longer combine even three under a single name! Will not the world then have to grow larger?"

Occasional visionary mindblowing stuff.
Alex Obrigewitsch
Aug 03, 2016 Alex Obrigewitsch rated it really liked it
These diaries are like the workshop in which Rilke crafted his artistic ethos, where his ideas of God as spiritual construct, the exegency of solitude, the interrelation of life and death, and the imagistic fashioning of the self all begin to flower and bloom.

Rilke often writes about experiences that occur in his life, and will later use these experiences, in tandem with his thoughts and ideals, to craft a poem. This work contains a number of early versions of pieces that would later appear in t
...more
Mary Louise
Mar 12, 2008 Mary Louise rated it it was amazing
Shelves: poetry
Gorgeous prose and poetry. One of my all time favorite books.
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Rainer Maria Rilke is considered one of the German language's greatest 20th century poets.

His haunting images tend to focus on the difficulty of communion with the ineffable in an age of disbelief, solitude, and profound anxiety — themes that tend to position him as a transitional figure between the traditional and the modernist poets.

He wrote in both verse and a highly lyrical prose. His two mos
...more
More about Rainer Maria Rilke...

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