Rilke in Paris
Ah, The achievement of a small moon!
Days where around us all is clear, barely an outline in the luminous air
and yet distinct. Even the nearest things have a distant tone, shrink back, show only from a distance, are not exposed; and all that draws on this expanse of distance – the river, the bridges, the long roads and the squares which expend themselves – hold that distance within them, and are painted there as if on silk. Who can say what a bright green motorcar on Pont Neuf might be, or this vivid red rushing forth, or even simply that poster, on the wall adjoining a cluster of pearl-grey buildings. All is simplified, restored to a few planes, sharp and clear, as a face in a portrait by Manet. Nothing is insignificant or without relevance. The bouquinistes on the quais open their boxes, and the yellow freshness or weariness of the books, the brown violet of the bindings, the more sovereign green of an album, all harmonise, count, take part in the whole and converge in consummate perfection…
||We are delighted to invite you to an evening with
Poet and translator
at the European Bookshop
on Wednesday 18 July 7pm-9pmto discuss his newly published translation of Rilke in Paris, an account by Maurice Betz, Rainer Maria Rilke’s French translator, of Rilke’s experiences and impressions of Paris when he first came to the city in 1902.Will Stone will read from the text and answer your questions.Join us after the talk for a glass of wine and more literary discussion.
Contact us on 020 7734 5259 or by email at [email protected]to confirm attendance or if you would like any more information about the event.
RILKE IN PARIS
by Rainer Maria Rilke & Maurice Betz
tr. by Will Stone
Published June 2012 by Hesperus PressIn 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 Parisis now available in English translation for the first time.The book will be on sale in both its French and English editions.
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