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Condition: Used: Very Good
Comment: A well-cared-for item that has seen limited use but remains in great condition. The item is complete, unmarked, and undamaged, but may show some limited signs of wear. Item works perfectly. Pages and dust cover are intact and not marred by notes or highlighting. The spine is undamaged.
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Diaries of a Young Poet Paperback – November 17, 1998

4.8 out of 5 stars 4 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Kirkus Reviews

The musings of a writer during his apprenticeship. Rilke (18751926) spent two and a half years, from 1898 to 1900, keeping a diary at the suggestion of his lover, Lou Andreas- Salom‚. This intrinsically private work takes shape as an impassioned miscellany, including drafts of poems, gossip about Rilke's friends and acquaintances, direct observations of place, his reflections on art and architecture from the Renaissance to Rodin, and fictional tales. Mixed in with this stimulating hodgepodge is some blather. ``Every day is the beginning of life,'' exulted Rilke in 1900. ``Every life is the beginning of eternity.'' But the youthful Romantic could be witty as well as narcotically lyric. One of the diary's climactic moments comes as he commits to paper his adventure of trying to visit and impress Count Leo Tolstoy at the great man's country estate with Lou: ``A dog comes right up to us, trusting and friendly, as we stand there in front of the small glass door. I bend down to the white dog and as I straighten up again I see behind the glass, vague and distorted by the flaws of the pane, a pair of searching eyes in a small grizzled face. The door opens, lets You [Lou] in and slams sharply against me, so that I, only after the Count has already greeted You, come in and now also stand before him, feeling awkwardly large.'' Rilke's actual visual sense takes the measure of Florence evocatively: ``The ornamentation that nestles up against the columns is in the best instances unobtrusive and straightforward, a beautiful thought or a tender feeling elicited by the column.'' The poems included are languorously unfinished reveries, brimming with girls, flowers, and boyish, transcendent emotion. But Rilke was not always sacramentally poetic; even ``a dachsund with the demeanor of a sphinx'' could catch his eye and spur his sentences. Platitudes, poetry, and revelations for Rilke's many American admirers--translated for the first time into English. (photos, not seen) -- Copyright ©1997, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Review

For the lover of Rilke, this superb translation of the poet's early diaries will be a watershed. Through Edward Snow's and Michael Winkler's brilliantly supple and faithful translation . . . a new and more balanced picture of Rilke will emerge. -- Ralph Freedman

In the diaries [Rilke] kept from 1898 to 1900, now translated for the first time . . . the overall impression is that of a genius just coming into his own powers. -- Boston Phoenix
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 336 pages
  • Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company; Reprint edition (November 17, 1998)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0393318508
  • ISBN-13: 978-0393318500
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.9 x 8.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.3 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,118,516 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Top Customer Reviews

By Julie Jordan Scott on July 19, 2004
Format: Paperback
Every time I pick up anything by Rilke I am astounded.
I read these works and think, "This is a diary? What if people, years from now published my morning pages notebooks? Hardly the beauty found here."
AND yet in Rilke's words, I find an appreciation not only for him, for his art, for the people who populated his life experience - I also find an extreme appreciation for the connection we all share.
What is exceptionally invigorating about these Diaries is their wide variety of creative expression. There are poems - there are pieces of short fiction - there is a sort of travel narrative and art criticism.
Unlike another reader, I found it highly personal.... Like stepping into the pages of anyone's diary is highly personal.
I found myself singing songs of gratitude for the fact his diaries were saved so that we could enjoy them today, more than one hundred years later.
Ironic and perfect, given that final appraisal by me, to hear this one quote from this book which really sums up Rilke's reflection of life from his pen - "Whoever understands and honors Death grants Life greatness."
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Format: Paperback
I'm just starting to explore Rilke...this book is wonderful for understanding where he is coming from in his poetry. In this blend of poetry, prose, journal-like entries and musings on nature, Rilke takes you on a journey into his own internal world of solitude. I force myself to read slowly and drink it in...it is worth it! I highly recommend this book.
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By A Customer on March 1, 2001
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I love Rilke, and I bought this expecting something similar to his "Letters to a young poet." However, this book seems less personal- it contains much more of Rilke's reflections on Italian art, in Florence, and on the art of the people around him in Germany. It is perhaps more engaging to someone who knows a great deal about the art he is discussing! There are still wonderful, wonderful Rilke moments, but this may not be the best book for non-artists or for people discovering Rilke for the first time.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
If you enjoy his poetry you will enjoy this: his thinking process liberated from poetic form, but touched by the same genius.
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