The Notebooks of Malte Laurids Brigge: A Novel

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Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group, Apr 6, 2011 - Fiction - 304 pages
5 Reviews
This is the definitive, widely acclaimed translation of the major prose work of one of our century's greatest poets -- "a masterpiece like no other" (Elizabeth Hardwick) -- Rilke's only novel, extraordinary for its structural uniqueness and purity of language. First published in 1910, it has proven to be one of the most influential and enduring works of fiction of our century.

Malte Laurids Brigge is a young Danish nobleman and poet living in Paris. Obsessed with death and with the reality that lurks behind appearances, Brigge muses on his family and their history and on the teeming, alien life of the city. Many of the themes and images that occur in Rilke's poetry can also be found in the novel, prefiguring the modernist movement in its self-awareness and imagistic immediacy.
 

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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - V.V.Harding - LibraryThing

A wonderfully leisurely record of the progress of an artistic soul is here: the mix of contemporary observations and ruminations on figures from the past is blended so seamlessly that although the ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - suniru - LibraryThing

The short introduction at the beginning of my copy was key in approaching this work. The first of two necessary elements was that Rilke didn’t intend to tell a story. What is presented is what one ... Read full review

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About the author (2011)

More than any other modern German writer, Rainer Maria Rilke seems to match our romantic idea of what a poet should be, though, as with many writers, separating artistry from affectation is often difficult. Restless, sensitive, reverent, yet egotistical, Rilke often seems to hover in his poems like a sort of ethereal being. He was born in 1875 to a wealthy family in Prague. After a few years devoted to the study of art and literature, he spent most of his adult life wandering among the European capitals and devoting himself single-mindedly to poetry. His early poems reflect his interest in the visual and plastic arts, as he tries to lose himself in contemplation of objects such as an antique torso of Apollo.His later books of poetry, such as Duino Elegies (1923) and Sonnets to Orpheus (1923), on the contrary, focus intently on internal realms. The poetry of Rilke is noted, above all, for metaphysical and psychological nuances.

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