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An anthology of Rilke's strongest poetry and prose for both aficionados and new readers. Here is a mini-anthology of poetry and prose for both aficionados and those readers discovering Rainer Maria Rilke for the first time. John J. L. Mood has assembled a collection of Rilke's strongest work, presenting commentary along with the selections. Mood links into an essay passages from letters that show Rilke's profound understanding of men and women and his ardent spirituality, rooted in the senses. Combining passion and sensitivity, the poems on love presented here are often not only sensual but sexual as well. Others pursue perennial themes in his work—death and life, growth and transformation. The book concludes with Rilke's reflections on wisdom and openness to experience, on grasping what is most difficult and turning what is most alien into that which we can most trust.
"Immensely readable...a significant piece of scholarship."—Fred Volkmer, New York Sun He would become one of the most important poets of the twentieth century; she a muse of Europe's fin-de-siecle thinkers and artists. In this collection of letters, a finalist for the PEN USA translation award, the poet Rainer Maria Rilke and Lou Andreas-Salomé, a writer and intellectual fourteen years his senior, pen a relationship that spans thirty years and shifting boundaries: as lovers, as mentor and protégé, and as deep personal and literary allies.
Ulrich Baer's The Rilke Alphabet will surprise and delight established fans of Rilke, intrigue newcomers, and convince all readers of the power of poetry to penetrate the mysteries and confusion of our world. The enduring power of Rainer Maria Rilke's poetry rests with his claim that all we need for a better life on earth is already given to us, in the here and now. In twenty-six engaging and accessible essays, Ulrich Baer's The Rilke Alphabet examines this promise by one of the greatest poets in any tradition that even the smallest overlooked word may unlock life's mysteries to us. Fueled by an unebbing passion and indeed love for Rilke's poetry, Baer examines twenty-six words that are not only unexpected but also problematic, controversial, and even scandalous in Rilke's work. In twenty-six mesmerizing essays that eschew jargon and teutonic learnedness for the pleasures and risks of unflinchingly engaging with a great artist's genius, Baer sheds new light on Rilke's politics, his creative process, and his deepest and enduring thoughts about life, art, politics, sexuality, love, and death. The Rilke Alphabet shows how Rilke's work provides an uncannily apt guide to life even in our vexingly postmodern condition. Whether it is a love letter to frogs, a problematic brief infatuation with Mussolini, a sustained reflection on the Buddha, the evasion of the influence of powerful precursors, or the unambiguous assertion that freedom must be lived in order to be known, Rilke's writings pull us deeply into life. Baer's decades-long engagement with Rilke as a scholar, translator, and editor of Rilke's writings allows him to reveal unique aspects of Rilke's work. The Rilke Alphabet will surprise and delight Rilke fans, intrigue newcomers to his work, and deepen every reader's sense of the power of poetry to penetrate the mysteries and confusions of our world.
Opening with a brief account of the life and work of the early 20th Century German-language poet Rainer Maria Rilke, the book then has its first major set piece, a lengthy and provocative selection from his prose writings on death, for him the most important topic of all. This is followed by a light-hearted account of Rilkes surprising popularity in the U. S. of A., even extending to Hollywood. A short chapter on Rilkes obsession with the scientific accuracy of his poetry and another on his poetic humor, prepare the reader for the second major set piece of the book --- a revealing look at his masterwork on death, the 860-line poem Duinese Elegies. The book closes with appendices on Rilke and god, translating Rilke, and a listing of the nearly 30 English translations of Duinese Elegies.
AN ANCHOR PAPERBACK ORIGINAL From the Nobel Prize laureate and author of the acclaimed Cairo Trilogy, a beguiling and artfully compact novel set in Sadat's Egypt. "[Mahfouz] is not only a Hugo and a Dickens, but also a Galsworthy, Zola and a Jules Romain."--Edward Said The time is 1981, Anwar al-Sadat is president, and Egypt is lurching into the modern world. Set against this backdrop, The Day the Leader Was Killed relates the tale of a middle-class Cairene family. Rich with irony and infused with political undertones, the story is narrated alternately by the pious and mischievous family patriarch Muhtashimi Zayed, his hapless grandson Elwan, and Elwan's headstrong and beautiful fiancee Randa. The novel reaches its climax with the assassination of Sadat on October 6, 1981, an event around which the fictional plot is skillfully woven. The Day the Leader Was Killed brings us the essence of Mahfouz's genius and is further proof that he has, in the words of the Nobel citation, "formed an Arabic narrative art that applies to all mankind."

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