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Letters on God and Letters to a Young Woman

Rainer Maria Rilke, Translated from the German by Annemarie S. Kidder

Publication Year: 2012

Rainer Maria Rilke (1875–1926) was an avid letter writer, and more than seven thousand of his letters have survived. The best-known collection today is Rilke’s Letters to a Young Poet, first published in 1929. Two other letter collections appeared around the same time and gained high acclaim among readers yet are virtually unknown today. They are Letters to a Young Woman (1930) and Letters on God (1933).

Published by: Northwestern University Press

Series: Northwestern World Classics

Title Page, Copyright

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pp. v

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pp. vii-viii

For the first time, this volume makes available to an Englishspeaking audience two of the earliest collections of letters written by Rainer Maria Rilke (1875–1926) and published after his death: one on the theme of God, the other addressed to a young woman...

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Introduction to Letters on God

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pp. 3-12

Rilke was driven by what could be called a quest for God. Even a cursory reading of Rilke’s poetry reveals that a prominent theme of his is the heart’s insatiable longing after the transcendent, the divine. This theme is variably approached and expressed through the..

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Letters on God

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pp. 13-34

In so many ways, L.H.,1 one could respond to your letter. Nearly each sentence of yours demands ten letters in reply. Not that one would have the answer to everything that is a question in it (and what in it is not a question?). But what you write are questions that have been..

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Introduction to Letters to a Young Woman

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pp. 35-38

The 1930 edition of Letters to a Young Woman contains nine Rilke letters, written to Lisa Heise between 1919 and 1924, and an epilogue by Carl Sieber. The twenty-six-year-old Heise (1893– 1969) had written to the poet after reading his Book of Images (Das Buch der Bilder). She had...

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Letters to a Young Woman

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pp. 39-66

I think, dear Madam, that I cannot answer the lines you are writing me any better and more precisely than by assuring you that I understand your impulse from which they have sprung. The object of art cannot change anything or improve anything the way it is; it faces people...


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pp. 67-72

Further Reading

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pp. 73-74

E-ISBN-13: 9780810165304
Print-ISBN-13: 9780810127401

Page Count: 88
Publication Year: 2012

Edition: New
Volume Title: 1
Series Title: Northwestern World Classics

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Subject Headings

  • Rilke, Rainer Maria, 1875-1926 -- Correspondence.
  • Rilke, Rainer Maria, 1875-1926 -- Translations into English.
  • Authors, German -- 20th century -- Correspondence.
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