Rainer Maria Rilke. Biography

Rainer Maria Rilke is an Austrian poet, prose writer, playwright and essayist, one of the largest representatives of the modernist philosophical lyrics of the 20th century, the author of the first modernist novel in the German-language literature. The originality of his work was determined by the original artistic philosophy, which had as its goal the rethinking of the place of God, man, nature and things in the universe, as well as the search for new ways of artistic depiction that took into account the aesthetic discoveries of the 19th-20th centuries.

The life of RM Rilke in dates and facts

December 4, 1875 – was born in Prague in the family of an official of the railway department.

1884 – for the sake of social comfort the mother left her family and moved to live in Vienna, where she joined the life of the imperial court. Dreaming of his son’s officer career, his father gave him to a military school, which the boy perceived as violence against

his soul.

1891 – for health reasons young Rilke was dismissed from the military school. As a free listener, he attended lectures at the Linz Trade Academy, as well as at the Prague, Munich and Berlin universities. However, the poet never received a systematic education.

1894 – the first collection of poems by Rilke “Life and Songs” was published. Following him were published similar books “Victims of Laram”, “Crowned with Dreams”, “Christmas Eve”.

1896 – moved to Munich, which at that time was one of the largest cultural metropolises of Western Europe. There, the poet entered a literary and cultural environment rich in talents and tied up useful links for his further creative self-realization.

1897 – Rilke met with the brilliant intellectual Lou Anderas-Salome, who in many ways determined his further creative development.

1898 – traveled through Italy, where he had the opportunity to expand his understanding of Western European cultural traditions and, in particular, the cultural heritage of the Renaissance.

Impressions of this trip Rilke expounded in his “Florentine diary.”

1899-1900 – together with Lou Andreas-Salome and under her direct influence, the poet made two trips to the Russian Empire, during which he met with outstanding representatives of the Russian creative intelligentsia, the most important monuments of Russian and Ukrainian culture, and also discovered the world of Orthodox spirituality.

1899-1902 – prepared poetic collections “To Me for a Feast”, “Hours”, “Book of Pictures”, a book of stories “Stories about the Lord God” and a lyric novel “A Song of Love and Death of Cornet Christophe Rilke”, which became a bestseller of the beginning of the 20th century.

1900 – at the invitation of the painter G. Vogeler arrived in the picturesque village of Worpsvede not far from Bremen, where a colony of artists is located. The purpose of this trip was to write a monograph on contemporary art, which was published in 1903 under the heading “Worpswede.” During his stay in the colony of artists Rilke met a young sculptor Clara Westhoff, who became his wife. Their alliance, which soon gave birth to a daughter, was, however, unsuccessful and quickly disintegrated.

1902 – interest in contemporary art and, in particular, the work of the famous French sculptor O. Rodin brought Rilke to Paris, where he was going to write a monograph on this master cutter. Dialogue with Rodin, from whom the poet served as a secretary for some time, was of great importance for his work. Living in Paris, Rilke created books that brought him all-European fame: a two-volume collection of “New Poems” and a novel “Notes of Malta by Laureds Bryge.” The monograph “Rodin”, which is a vivid example of art essayism, belongs to the same period.

In the early 1910’s. against the backdrop of a noticeable creative decline, the poet traveled extensively throughout Europe and North Africa.

1915 – at the height of the First World War he was mobilized for service in the Vienna military archive, but the intercession of high-ranking patrons freed him from this burdensome duty.

1919 – settled in Switzerland, where friends eventually gave him a small castle Muzo.

1922 – created poetry collections “Duin Elegies” and “Sonnets to Orpheus”, after which he wrote a series of cycles of poems in French.

December 29, 1926 – because of leukemia died in the clinic Valmon.

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Rainer Maria Rilke. Biography