Who could have known that the Rilke conference would be so inspiring? The workshops, in which we dicussed individual poems and their contexts were splendid. The only problem was that there were always three workshops running parallel, so we had to make a choice. But once I was in the workshop I had selected, everything else paled in comparison with the intelligent and thoughtful discussion. I think we all learned a huge amount from these workshops. We also profited from the keynote speeches.
Helping select and arrange materials for the Rilke exhibit at Houghton Library (opening on Sept, 22) has been a real learning experience. One thing I'd been curious about was the typeface used in the first edition of Das Buch der Bilder. Rilke chose it himself and was very pleased with it. Then Hofmannsthal wrote to congratulate him on his poetic achievement, but added that he found the capital letters very irritating. Capital letters? What was strange about them in Das Buch der Bilder? Even more fascinating is what happened to the typeface in the second edition.
Focuses on Rilke's Paris period, 1902-1910. Close study of Rilke's novel Die Aufzeichnungen des Malte Laurids Brigge, and his collection of poems, Neue Gedichte, as well as other lesser-known texts from the period.
Undergraduates admitted with permission of the instructor.