About the Book
In the summer of 1902, a young unknown German-language poet named Rainer Maria Rilke, arrived in Paris with the intention of writing a monograph on the famous sculptor Auguste Rodin. From then on, Paris proved both a reliable base and an irresistible source of inspiration for Rilke. He was by turns arrested, appalled, tormented and inspired by the raw reality of the Parisian street, and the life he witnessed there gradually entered his writings, prefigured by prodigious letters and notes. These formed the basis of his prose masterpiece The Notebooks of Malte Laurids Brigge, published in 1910. Maurice Betz was Rilke’s foremost translator into French and knew the poet personally. In 1941 he published an insightful essay around Rilke’s artistic relationship with Paris, concentrating on the fascinating and difficult evolution of The Notebooks. Already translated into other European languages, Rilke in Paris is now available in English translation for the first time.
Notes on the Melody of Things, Rilke wrote in 1898, aged twenty-three. The exquisite beauty of these enigmatic, barely known notes magisterially heralds the great poetry to come.