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Unreading Rilke

Unorthodox Approaches to a Cultural Myth


Hartmut Heep

For too long, Rainer Maria Rilke’s poetry has been glorified without looking at the man behind the author of the Duino Elegies, Sonnets to Orpheus, and the Dinggedichte. Rilke was a liar, an opportunist, and a terrible father. Unreading Rilke subjects his œuvre to a critical, unorthodox reading. The essays collected in this book offer new insights into Rilke’s psyche, his Duino Elegies, his impact on Hollywood and Russian art, and his influence on other authors. Literary theory, postmodernism, cultural studies, gender studies, and psychoanalysis help debunk the myth of Rainer Maria Rilke.
This book contains contributions in English and German.
Contents: Hartmut Heep: Rainer Maria Rilkes Frauen: Haß-Liebe auf den zweiten Blick – Hajo Drees: Never Mind Freud! Who Needs Psychoanalysis When You Can Write Poetry? Rainer Maria Rilke’s Torture, Therapy, and Salvation – Herbert Möller: «Ein Deutscher offenbar». Einige Bemerkungen zum Leben und Sterben eines Reiterfähnrichs – Elisabeth L. Vines: Rilke and Seeing in Time and Space – Inger Gilbert: From Myth to Language: Childhood’s Narrative in Rainer Maria Rilke’s Malte Laurids Brigge – Ernest W. B. Hess-Lüttich: Simultaneität und Sukzession. Zur (Hypertext-?) Struktur der Zeit-Zeichen in Rilkes Malte und Prousts Recherche – Patricia H. Stanley/Jonathan Flaum: Rilke’s Duino Elegies: An Alternative Approach to the Study of Mysticism – Mark Martin Gruettner: Zur Ökologie von Schöpfung und Verwandlung: Die achte Elegie von Rainer Maria Rilke – Christoph Hollender: The Poet Meets the Mother of Invention: The Allegory of the Tenth Duino Elegy – Les Calvedt: «Mitten im Schreiben sind wir mitten im Tod»: Death as an Aesthetic Phenomenon in Rilke and Handke – Jennifer S. Cushman: The Avant-Garde Rilke: Russian (Un)Orthodoxy and the Visual Arts – Kathleen L. Komar: Rilke in America: A Poet Re-created.