Rilke, Europe, and the English-Speaking World
Publisher: Cambridge University Press (August 11, 2011)
Format: PDF / Kindle / ePub
Size: 5.2 MB
Downloadable formats: PDF
In this 1961 text, Professor Mason examines the complex of ambiguous attitudes which Rilke had towards Europe, in particular his hostility towards England and the English language. He proves that Rilke knew more English than he admitted, had English friends, and valued his English admirers. Professor Mason also shows that the heart of the matter is also at the heart of Rilke's poetry; that he identified England and above all America with forces which were robbing his Europe of its spiritual significance. The central passages of the Duino Elegies are thus seen from a fresh perspective. Professor Mason is writing of a genius who was also tiresome, and there is a pleasant astringent touch in many parts of the book. For readers of Rilke it is essential: written at a time when the European ideal had to be given life in England and substance in Europe, it provides any European with something to consider.