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Rilke and Andreas-Salomé: A Love Story in Letters Paperback – June 17, 2008
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But the idea of positing a critical eye on one's letters (unless they are means exclusive of a recepient, as with Seneca) seems to me to be entirely ridiculous.
I can only say that I was happy to the point of giddiness to discover the recently published letters between Rilke and Andreas-Salome.
I devoured the book whole, and found myself inspired by Rilke's early uncertanties, and the almost frighteningly composed replies of his one time lover, now become mentor. It offered a glimpse into the world of this beautiful poet, who previously, seemed to have sprung fully formed into the author of the Duino Elegies, as though he were always the master we have come to admire.
And here, beset by dread, here overcome by an almost childish enthusiasm, we find him not stripped of his title rather enriched by his likeness to ourselves. And it's as though we always sensed beneath the richness of his language a kinship we could never adaquetely define, here at last the inexplicable is made manifest.
I do not speak to Andreas-Salome, she does not move me, but she was a freind of Rilke's and therefore deserves at least our respect.
If you are curious about the genesis and flowering of a poet, you will find no better testament than this collection, and much like the Memoirs of Pablo Neruda, you will find in the simplest relation, a poetry unto itself.
This book can feed your soul, if you let it.