Rilke, Modernism and Poetic Tradition

Synopsis

Judith Ryan traces Rilke's development from aestheticism to modernism, paying special attention to the way his work engages with other poetry and the visual arts. Taking a skeptical view of Rilke's own myth of himself as a solitary genius, Ryan shows how deeply his writing is embedded in the culture of its day. Rilke is now the most widely-read and influential German-language poet, and this study is full of surprising discoveries about his innovative and often profoundly moving poems.

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