Selected Works - Vol. 1

Selected Works - Vol. 1

Selected Works - Vol. 1

Selected Works - Vol. 1

Excerpt

With certain exceptions that will be noted, this book contains translations of all the writings included in the second (prose) volume of the third edition of Rilke Ausgewählte Werke (Selected Works), published by the Insel Verlag in 1948. The Notebook of Malte Laurids Brigge, of which a translation (still available) was published some twenty years ago by The Hogarth Press, has not been included; neither (for obvious reasons) has the selection of Rilke's own translations from various European poets. Their place has been supplied by a translation of Rilke book on Auguste Rodin, which the translator had had by her for several years and which her profound knowledge of Rodin no less than of Rilke made her peculiarly well-fitted to execute.

Although there is some consolation in the fact that I was able to persuade Miss Gertrude Craig Houston to undertake this task and that she was able (incomparably, in my opinion) to complete it, to the sorrow which I share with so many in her untimely loss there is added a keen regret that she did not live to see in print this, the most substantial, result of her long devotion to Rainer Maria Rilke.

Without personal ambition, applying the most fastidious and exacting standards to her own writing, selflessly expending herself in the exercise of her academic duties, she was one of those scholars and teachers whom generations of pupils will remember with gratitude, but whose published work (although of superb quality) is in quantity almost ludicrously disproportionate both to their capabilities and to their intellectual superiority over many of their more voluminous and, in some respects, perhaps, more fortunate contemporaries.

After a brilliant career as a student at Belfast and London, Miss Craig Houston was engaged throughout her whole life in the teaching of German literature. From 1921 to 1923 she was Assistant Lecturer at Newnham, and from 1923 until 1937 she . . .

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