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The poet's guide to life : the wisdom of Rilke
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Presents a selection of observations and reflections on the topics of illness and death, dreams and religion, language and art, love and happiness, work and ambition, and childhood and old age. - (Baker & Taylor)

An illuminating translation of writings by the Czech-born poet presents a selection of observations and reflections on the topics of illness and death, dreams and religion, language and art, love and happiness, work and ambition, childhood and old age, in a study of what makes up a meaningful life. 25,000 first printing. - (Baker & Taylor)

Baer (German and comparative literature, New York U.) presents translated excerpts from German poet Rilke's (1875-1926) some 7,000 letters in German and French. Among the domains they address are being with others, work, nature, solitude, illness and recovery, language, art, faith, goodness and morality, and love. The sources are identified in the end matter, to keep from interrupting the meditative flow of the wisdom. There is no index. Annotation ©2004 Book News, Inc., Portland, OR ( - (Book News)

'You have to live life to the limit, not according to each day but by plumbing its depth."

In this treasury of uncommon wisdom and spiritual insight, the best writings and personal philosophies of one of the twentieth century's greatest poets, Rainer Maria Rilke, are gleaned by Ulrich Baer from thousands of pages of never-before translated correspondence.

The result is a profound vision of how the human drive to create and understand can guide us in every facet of life. Arranged by theme'from everyday existence with others to the exhilarations of love and the experience of loss, from dealing with adversity to the nature of inspiration, here are Rilke's thoughts on how to live life in a meaningful way:

Life and Living: 'How good life is. How fair, how incorruptible, how impossible to deceive: not even by strength, not even by willpower, and not even by courage. How everything remains what it is and has only this choice: to come true, or to exaggerate and push too far."

Art: 'the work of art is adjustment, balance, reassurance. It can be neither gloomy nor full of rosy hopes, for its essence consists of justice."

Faith: 'I personally feel a greater affinity to all those religions in which the middleman is less essential or almost entirely suppressed."

Love: 'to be loved means to be ablaze. To love is: to shine with inexhaustible oil. To be loved is to pass away; to love is to last."

Intimate, stylistically masterful, brilliantly translated, and brimming with the wonder and passion of Rilke, The Poet's Guide to Life is comparable to the best works of wisdom in all of literature and a perfect book for all occasions. - (Random House, Inc.)

Biografia autora

RAINER MARIA RILKE (1875'1926) ranks among the great poets of world literature, and was the author of Duino Elegies and Sonnets to Orpheus.

Ulrich Baer, a scholar of modern German, French, and American poetry, is the author of Remnants of Song: Trauma and the Experience of Modernity in Charles Baudelaire and Paul Célan and Spectral Evidence: The Photography of Trauma. He is the editor of 110 Stories: New York Writes After September 11. Baer is associate professor of German and comparative literature at New York University and acting chair of the German department. - (Random House, Inc.)

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Booklist Reviews

One of the best-known twentieth-century poets, Rilke is many things to many people: poet of solitude; poet of the misunderstood; above all, patron saint of adolescent angst. As early as the 1920s, critics ravaged his poetry as being read primarily by young girls and old maids. His work endured, however, to be embraced by contemporary pop culture, so that his words are recited in movies, at weddings, and during graduation ceremonies. Editor-translator Baer suggests treating this selection of Rilke as a user's manual for life, especially when something meaningful needs to be said. The book is arranged thematically, and those themes are numerous, ranging from work and art to faith and goodness to love and death. Besides familiar lines, Baer presents excerpts from Rilke's approximately 7,000 letters, translated for the first time into English from their original German and French. For anyone who admires Rilke and the timeless profundity of his messages, and for those who seek an introduction to his worldview, this is an indispensable resource. ((Reviewed March 15, 2005)) Copyright 2005 Booklist Reviews.

Library Journal Reviews

Rilke's beautiful poetry has inspired people for decades, and now his unique prose reflections, gathered in this illuminating new collection, can guide us to a fuller, more conscious life. Reminiscent of Rilke's enormously popular Letters to a Young Poet, this work is chock-full of practical advice and philosophical musings. Editor and translator Baer (German & comparative literature, NYU) has pulled nuggets of wisdom from 7000 letters by Rilke to create a thoughtfully organized collection of 13 sections on such matters as illness ("Pain Tolerates No Interpretation"), childhood and education ("The Joy in Daily Discovery"), and faith ("A Direction of the Heart"). The result is a contemplative "user's manual to life" that can be read in one sitting or consulted as a ready reference. Many of the sections read like a story or a friendly piece of advice from an old relative (e.g., "Time and again one hears of someone who has said things that one had thought only obscurely.Such things make you grow."). A lengthy and insightful introduction by Baer and an index of first lines round out the text. Recommended for medium and large academic and public libraries.[For a Q&A with Baer, also an LJ reviewer, see p. 88-Ed.]-Jaime Anderson, Cty. of Henrico P.L., Richmond, VA Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.

Publishers Weekly Reviews

While Rainer Maria Rilke's Letters to a Young Poet has served as inspiration for generations of artists, it presents only his best-known letters. As Baer, acting chair of NYU's German department, asserts in his introduction, Rilke was a prolific letter writer, corresponding with hundreds of people. Baer's goal in this unsuccessful collection is to convey Rilke's wisdom on many aspects of existence. Rilke had much to say about the process of living, and Baer is right to find inspiration in his thoughts, but this volume displays too much of the editor's hand. By presenting Rilke's thoughts on subjects ranging from grief to language to love as short, aphoristic capsules (some passages are no longer than a line), Baer takes them out of the context in which they were written. Letters, even from a sage to a supplicant, are part of a dialogue. It's not just chronology that is lost here-the reader cannot trace Rilke's own developing ideas-but what seems to have been of utmost importance to the writer himself: his participation in two-way relationships. (On sale Mar. 22) Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.

Spis treści

INTRODUCTION by Ulrich Baer vii
ON LIFE AND LIVING: You Have to Live Life to the Limit 5(24)
ON BEING WITH OTHERS: To Be a Part, That Is Fulfillment for Us 29(14)
ON WORK: Get Up Cheerfully on Days You Have to Work 43(12)
ON DIFFICULTY AND ADVERSITY: The Measure by Which We May Know Our Strength 55(10)
ON CHILDHOOD AND EDUCATION: This Joy in Daily Discovery 65(10)
ON NATURE: It Knows Nothing of Us 75(6)
ON SOLITUDE: The Loneliest People Above All Contribute Most to Commonality 81(12)
ON ILLNESS AND RECOVERY: Pain Tolerates No Interpretation 93(12)
ON LOSS, DYING, AND DEATH: Even Time Does Not "Console"...It Puts Things in Their Place and Creates Order 105(20)
ON LANGUAGE: That Vast, Humming, and Swinging Syntax 125(8)
ON ART: Art Presents Itself as a Way of Life 133(28)
ON FAITH: A Direction of the Heart 161(16)
ON GOODNESS AND MORALITY: Nothing Good, Once It Has Come into Existence, May Be Suppressed 177(8)
ON LOVE: There Is No Force in the World but Love 185(18)

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