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Force and Love in the Works of Rainer Maria Rilke

Heroic Life Attitudes and the Acceptance of Defeat and Suffering as Complementary Parts


Kip Wilson

Based on the works, letters and diaries of Rainer Maria Rilke, his attitude based on the interdependent nature of force and love, both human and divine, is clear. The specific works discussed, including Der Cornet, Malte, Der Schauende, and selected poems from the Duineser Elegien and Sonette an Orpheus provide the basis for discussion on the tie that binds these apparently opposite poles into a deeper theme important both to Rilke and to those who read his works: the relationship between recognition and awe of force and the fulfillment of acceptance gained when giving in to this force through love.
Contents: By realizing the power of a stronger force, giving in to it makes us part of it, producing a greater fulfillment than thought possible. Rilke calls on us to realize the power of divine force, and give in to it willingly through divine love.