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Transformation of Language and Religion in Rainer Maria Rilke

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Johannes Wich-Schwarz

Rainer Maria Rilke (1875-1926), perhaps the most famous European poet of the twentieth century, exemplifies how the «crisis of language» inherent in literary Modernism also constitutes a crisis of religious discourse. In Rilke’s poetry and prose, language replaces God as the focal point of human experience. Yet despite his rejection of Christianity, Rilke crucially draws on Christian imagery to express his Modernist worldview. Transformation of Language and Religion in Rainer Maria Rilke offers new readings of major texts such as The Notebooks of Malte Laurids Brigge and The Duino Elegies, as well as analyzing some of Rilke’s lesser-known works, Visions of Christ and «The Letter of the Young Worker.»

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Index 171

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Index A Andreas-Salomé, Lou (1861–1937), 10– 12, 21, 30, 35–37, 80f., 99, 163, 167f. Arnim, Bettina von (1785–1859), 73 B Bach, Johann Sebastian (1685–1750), 41 Baudelaire, Charles (1821–1865), 32, 57, 74, 117 Bildungsroman, 40, 70, 169 Blake, William (1757–1827), 12 Bonhoeffer, Dietrich (1906–1945), 73, 163 Broch, Hermann (1886–1951), 69, 119, 163 Buddhism, 47, 72 Bultmann, Rudolf (1884–1976), 26 C Camus, Albert (1913–1960), 119, 164 Christianity, 5–13, 15, 18f., 22, 30, 102– 105, 109–116, 154–160 Ahasverus (legend of the Wandering Jew), 14f., 31, 135 Christ, Figure of, 3– 22, 30, 32, 84, 102, 109–118, 121, 133f., 142– 144, 149, 153–155, 161, 166–169 conversion, 19, 56 Eucharist, 7–10, 22–29, 32, 102, 169 Gethsemane, Garden of, 3, 21, 32, 143 Gospels, The, 4f., 13, 21, 29, 54, 66f. grace, concept of, 23–25, 32, 45, 57, 114, 129, 160 Jesus, 3, 6f., 10–22, 26–32, 55, 73, 94, 111, 133, 141f., 150, 163 crisis of language, 5, 7, 22, 26, 32, 43– 48, 58, 63, 67f., 71– 73, 84, 108, et passim D Dickinson, Emily (1830–1886), 9, 76, 164 Donne, John (1572–1631), 32, 166 E Eliot, T. S. (1888–1965), 5, 105, 164 Enlightenment, 2 G Goethe, Johann Wolfgang von (1749– 1832), 2, 4, 8, 35f., 69, 73, 100, 163f. The Sorrows of Young Werther, 2–4, 35f., 164, 170 Gogh, Vincent van (1853–1890), 28 Graf, Willi (1918–1943), 73 H...

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