Synopses & Reviews
Rilke's powerfully touching letters to an aspiring young poet
At the start of the twentieth century, Rainer Maria Rilke wrote a series of letters to a young officer cadet, advising him on writing, love, sex, suffering, and the nature of advice itself. These profound and lyrical letters have since become hugely influential for generations of writers and artists of all kinds, including Lady Gaga and Patti Smith. With honesty, elegance, and a deep understanding of the loneliness that often comes with being an artist, Rilke's letters are an endless source of inspiration and comfort. Lewis Hyde's new introduction explores the context in which these letters were written and how the author embraced his isolation as a creative force. This edition also includes Rilke's later work The Letter from the Young Worker
A masterly new translation of one of the first great modernist novels In the only novel by one of the German language's greatest poets, a young man named Malte Laurids Brigge lives in a cheap room in Paris while his belongings rot in storage. Every person he sees seems to carry their death with them, and with little but a library card to distinguish him from the city's untouchables, he thinks of the deaths, and ghosts, of his aristocratic family, of which he is the sole living descendant. Suffused with passages of lyrical brilliance, Rilke's semi-autobiographical novel is a moving and powerful coming-of-age story.
About the Author
Rainer Maria Rilke
(1875–1926) studied literature, art history, and philosophy in both Munich and Prague and is often considered one of the German language's greatest twentieth-century poets. His two most famous verse sequences are the Sonnets to Orpheus
and the Duino Elegies
; his two most famous prose works are Letters to a Young Poet
and the semiautobiographical The Notebooks of Malte Laurids Brigge
. Charlie Louth
is a fellow at Queen's College, Oxford, where he lectures in German. He is the author of Hölderlin and the Dynamics of Translation. Lewis Hyde
is the author of the hundred-million-copy bestseller The Gift
. A MacArthur fellow and former director of undergraduate creative writing at Harvard University, Hyde is a fellow at Harvard's Berkman Center for Internet and Society. He lives in Cambridge, Massachusetts, and Gambier, Ohio.