Mary Drover's Reviews > You Must Change Your Life: The Story of Rainer Maria Rilke and Auguste Rodin

You Must Change Your Life by Rachel Corbett
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it was amazing
bookshelves: favorites, nonfiction

I loved this book more than I am ever going to be able to describe. This unique biography tells the story of not one artist, but two. In their lifetimes, Rilke and Rodin were both masters of their craft, though, like many, they were not recognized until it was too late, and they were both miserable people half the time. Rilke was always looking for someone to teach him, though, to help him discover art in its truest form, and his greatest influence became Rodin, a prolific sculpturist. This is the story of their lives before, during their many-year friendship, and after.

I just loved Corbett’s style of writing so much. It felt like she was weaving a story that I was part of, or that I was secretly hearing. I felt part of this little community of artists that Rilke and Rodin were so entrenched in. I also really appreciated how much of the world around these two artists that we got. It wasn’t just solely focused on Rilke and Rodin 100% of the time; rather, a little 10% was occasionally devoted to the artists and other communities around them–Oscar Wilde, Vincent Van Gogh, Sigmund Freud, Carl Jung, Pablo Picasso, just to name a few. Every time a new name would pop up, I couldn’t believe I hadn’t realized what time period we were in.

For me, I read this for Rilke. He is, above and beyond, my favorite poet of all time, and though I knew bits and pieces of his life, I was so curious to learn as much as I could, and this book did not disappoint. Corbett paid as much attention to one artist as she did the other, and I came away feeling like I knew them both very well. This was an excellent read if you’re interested in either Rilke or Rodin, and I think, too, even if you’re just interested in the culture of the early 1900s.

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Reading Progress

February 8, 2018 – Shelved
February 8, 2018 – Shelved as: to-read
July 16, 2018 – Started Reading
July 16, 2018 –
page 63
July 17, 2018 –
page 131
July 19, 2018 – Shelved as: favorites
July 19, 2018 – Finished Reading
March 25, 2019 – Shelved as: nonfiction

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