Saturday 10 January 2015

The Notebooks of Malte Laurids Brigge by Rainer Maria Rilke.

In winter, at the hour entre chien et loup, it takes some time to find the Rilke I first met in Paris when I was a student, susceptible to doubt and transformation as never before or perhaps since. Reading does not cast an even light throughout; it is not like fibre optic, whizzing through the material world to reach the immaterial.
In childhood I considered reading a profession one would take upon oneself, later some time, when all the professions came along, one after the other. I had, to tell the truth, no clear idea when that might be. I trusted that one would notice when life somehow turned and came only from without, as hitherto from within. 
By the time Rilke wrote the Duino Elegies he had noticed. Or maybe he hadn't. His language had. As far as this reader was concerned then, these were two separate affairs.

When I lived in Paris I knew a German journalist called Malte, engaged in worlds that were beyond me.  I was a green apple and would remain so until about last week.

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