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Auguste Rodin Hardcover – February 24, 2004

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Editorial Reviews


Combining Daniel Slagers's elegant translation from the German of Rilke's writings on Rodin with Michael Eastman's photographs of Rodin's sculptures, Auguste Rodin offers a fresh look at an unlikely mentorship. —The New York Times Book Review

Brilliant and subtle but richly colored new photographs of Rodin's sculptures by Michael Eastman make this new translation of Rilke's classic meditation on Auguste Rodin a feast for the eye and mind. National Book Critics Circle Award winner Wiliam Gass examines the text and the setting to provide insight and context. Fine writing, beautiful images, and exciting ideas make this edition of Rilke's Auguste Rodin a real treat. —R.K. Dickson

Poets and the visual arts—it is a vast subject; and all through the twentieth century artists and writers collaborated almost constantly, sometimes with such intensity that it seemed as if they were passing back and forth a single flask labeled 'Inspiration.' Few poets have written more eloquently about the visual arts than Rilke, and one of the most beautiful books of the year is his Auguste Rodin (Archipelago Books, $30), translated by Daniel Slager, with photographs by Michael Eastman, which bring us close to the charged surfaces of Rodin's bronzes, and catch their storm-tossed intensity. Rodin was at times a disturbingly bombastic artist—while his Gates of Hell may be the work of a genius, it is also pure kitsch—but in the years just after 1900, when Rilke got to know him, the avant-garde was still inclined to embrace Rodin as a rough-hewn visionary, a man in whose studio, as Rilke wrote, 'everything was becoming, but nothing was in a hurry.' For Rilke, both Rodin and Cézanne suggested, through the very physicality of their labors, a route beyond fin-de-siècle preciosity. Rilke discovered in Rodin a man who was utterly committed to the materiality of the artistic vocation. Rodin taught Rilke to make his feelings concrete. —Ruth Franklin

From the Publisher

· Over 100 drawings and cutouts

· Rodin shows the female nude form in its beauty and simplicity

· Wonderful collection of Rodin’s late work --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 88 pages
  • Publisher: Archipelago; First Edition edition (2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0972869255
  • ISBN-13: 978-0972869256
  • Product Dimensions: 8.3 x 0.7 x 9.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,162,877 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Midwest Book Review on September 6, 2002
Format: Hardcover
Images Of Desire: Erotic Watercolors And Cut-Outs showcases the erotic watercolor illustrations and cut-out artwork by Auguste Rodin, the famed French artist most commonly known through his sculptures. A brief introduction by Anne-Marie Bonnet adds pensive thought on these minimalist, somewhat abstract yet undeniably sensual and sexual artworks celebrating pleasure and love. Intense imagery evokes passion out of the simplest lines. The full color reproductions are superbly presented and make Images Of Desire a welcome and highly recommended addition to personal, academic, and community library Art History and Art Appreciation reference collections.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Allan Cox on May 24, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Here is a book I came across recently that is a magnificent weaving of Rodin, the sculptor generally recognized as second only to Michelangelo and Rilke, the poet, who, to many knowing minds, is the poet without peer. Rodin the subject, Rilke the observer, whose prose here remains poetic, were bound by the work as the young poet served as the master's secretary. They were bound in heart as well, though Rodin, in a misunderstanding, fired Rilke. Rilke brings Rodin, nonetheless, to us so that we see his astounding modesty, despite his prodigious gifts, and his grasp of the likelihood his renderings would remain homeless--their greatness not known until after his death. With this, he was unmoved, and in his work, unquenched in spirit, passing along his bounty of heart to his students. The book will sit well on your coffee table, smaller than most such selections, but its 88 pages of exquisite prose and photographic samples of the man's acute sensibilities, are sure to prompt worthy explorations among your guests.

Allan Cox, author of "WHOA! Are They Glad You're In Their Lives?" to be published June 5, 2012
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Format: Hardcover
[Please note: The review below applies only to the book entitled "Auguste Rodin," published by Archipelago Books and copyrighted 2004, found at this Amazon link: Auguste Rodin.]

This Archipelago Books volume on Rodin was smartly conceived by its small press publisher. It is nearly square in size to accommodate long-lined text printed on quality paper. Sturdily bound in a partial cloth binding, overall it has the look and feel of a quality gift book, and one features sophisticated content. If the editor's plan was to see what happens when you assemble in one package the work of three powerful communicators -- a titanic sculptor who ushered in new forms, a poet striving to understand and explicate the invisible, and a living master essayist on literary matters -- that plan succeeds with sparkling insights.

The book opens with an Introduction by William Gass, a long-time Rilke maven and an unsparing arbiter of cultural subjects. Gass stylishly fulfills his setting-the-stage duty. Using multiple perspectives (historical, aesthetic, biographical, psychological) he helps the reader understand why the young poet developed an awed appreciation for Rodin (the man and his work). We learn how Rilke absorbed the sculptor's personal and aesthetic credo ("il faut travailler, rien de travailler") with lasting effect on his mature poetic output.

All that Rilke learned from Rodin he expressed to the world in two significant pieces which make up the bulk of this book: an essay written at the very start of his personal association with the elder artist in 1903; and a public lecture written at the end of their relationship in 1907.
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4 of 6 people found the following review helpful By wiredweird HALL OF FAMETOP 1000 REVIEWER on June 19, 2007
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
"I have been accused of thinking about women too much ... But what could be more beautiful than thinking about women?" - Auguste Rodin

Rodin is a striking example of an artist who achieved recognition in his own lifetime. That included financial independence, which gave him the freedom to explore directions for which patronage would have been hard to find. In fact, the display of some images in this series is said to have cost the director of the Grand-Ducal Museum his job.

It's easy to think of Rodin's masterworks in statuary as complete command of form. Whatever Rodin thought of them, it wasn't enough. His later life produced "one-minute drawings" like these by the thousands. He was looking for something, possibly within himself, that he never found words to articulate wholly. One proposal holds that he wanted to capture the dimension of time, the frozen moment, that eluded stone and bronze.

Perhaps he succeeded. Beyond that, he also succeeded in collecting a wonderful catalog of female figure - not just figure, but dynamic and exciting figure. The excitement is more than just intellectual. It goes well towards the carnal but stops short of vulgarity, at least to a modern eye. These models presented not just their forms but their arousal, of themselves and of their same-sex partners. Rodin's genius captured their passion and his own, stripped of any critical sentiment.

This book will work well to complement a library that already represents Rodin's better-known works. These watercolor drawings tend toward a sameness of color, contrast, and style that might wear on some viewers' patience. I guess it's not for everyone. If you've already befriended Rodin's work, though, this is an enjoyable way to deepen your relationship.

-- wiredweird
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