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Stories of God: A New Translation Paperback – June 10, 2003


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 128 pages
  • Publisher: Shambhala; First Edition edition (June 10, 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1590300386
  • ISBN-13: 978-1590300381
  • Product Dimensions: 5.7 x 8.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 6.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #783,631 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

"Fluent and engaging."— Library Journal

Language Notes

Text: English (translation)
Original Language: German

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Customer Reviews

3.3 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

23 of 26 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on April 2, 2000
Format: Paperback
This endearing, wise little book is a must for all Rilke fans. Parables and fables, this book is a great companion to Letters to a Young Poet. Cozy and contemplative like sitting inside a room watching snow fall through a window, these stories are small miracles of faith and love and devotion. However, this book reads much better in the German than it does in this translation. I believe this is the only known English translation and it does not do Rilke's poetic prose justice. That is the problem with translation - the reader is a victim to the translator. Think of all the horrible translations of Dante that existed before Charles Singleton took the poem into his hands. Or the Aeneid or the Odyssey before Robert Fitzgerald.
Nonetheless, this is an important book for those who love the quiet that lies in-between the lines of Rilke's writing. Hopefully, someone like Stephen Mitchell will try their hands at this. We can only hope.
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10 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Julius Kusuma on October 13, 2002
Format: Paperback
While this is certainly an interesting reading to fans of Rilke's poems and word plays, the nature in which this book was written made it more than a little rough for those used to Rilke's usual effortless passages. Personally, I love the lightness of being in Rilke's passages, being uttered in the most sensitive, but almost carefree fashion, while maintaining depth and thoughtfulness.
In this book, we witness a much younger Rilke at his most spontaneous: the short parts chronicle his conversations with the people whom he lived with at the time. The different parts tell different stories that he seemed to have improvised at the time. It's very charming to see Rilke's deft and quick observations in inspiration, and how he turns these inspirations into parables and short stories in real time. But the instantaneous creation of these parables robs thoughtfulness off of them, and a particular charm compared to Rilke's more thoroughly thought out writings.
"Letters to a young poet" drew its strength from Rilke's warmth and careful construction, comparable to "The notebooks of Laurids Brigge". This writing maintains the former but not the latter, and it's a pity that he never polished the writings at a later stage in life. The liner notes do mention the manuscripts of this writing having been lost at some point: a pity considering the promising strength of the material here, and the proof of what Rilke could have accomplished given more time to contemplate (for example, the hauntingly intense "Duino elegies" took many decades to write, with Rilke revisiting it again and again over time). It appears that one should view this as a sketchbook; an unfinished work of Rilke.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I first read this book because it was mentioned by my favorite philosophy professor. He was not stuffy and neither is this book. It is a collection of stories that purport to be narrated to children on the nature of God and how he can be found everywhere. It is beautifully and simply written: whimsical and delightful. I am not a religious person, but this is one of my favorite books. It lifts my spirits and
gives me insight into those who are. I highly recommend this book for anyone who believes in God and for many people who don't. I am giving it to several people on my Christmas list.
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