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Stories of God: A New Translation [Paperback]

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Retail Value $ 16.00  
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Item Number 425543  
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Item Specifications...

Pages   118
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 8.36" Width: 5.48" Height: 0.34"
Weight:   0.34 lbs.
Binding  Softcover
Release Date   Jun 10, 2003
Publisher   Shambhala
ISBN  1590300386  
EAN  9781590300381  

Availability  0 units.

Item Description...
Composed in 1899 when Rilke was only twenty-three, the interconnected tales of "Stories of God " were inspired by a trip to Russia the young poet had made the year previously. It is said that the vastness of the Russian landscape and the profound spirituality he perceived in the simple people he met led him to an experience of finding God in all things, and to the conviction that God seeks to be known by us as passionately as we might seek to know God.
All the great themes of Rilke's later powerful and complex poetry can be found in the "Stories of God ," yet their charming, folktale-like quality has made them among the most accessible of Rilke's works, beloved by all ages.

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More About Rainer Maria Rilke & Michael H. Kohn

Register your artisan biography and upload your photo! Rainer Marie Rilke, the great Austro-German poet, was the author of many works including Duino Elegies and Sonnets to Orpheus.

Stephen Mitchell's translations include Ahead of All Parting: The Selected Poetry of Rainer Maria Rilke, The Book of Job, Tao Te Ching, and, most recently, Bhagavad-Gita. He lives in California.

Rainer Maria Rilke lived in Prague. Rainer Maria Rilke was born in 1875 and died in 1926.

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Product Categories
1Books > Subjects > Literature & Fiction > General > Contemporary   [78538  similar products]
2Books > Subjects > Literature & Fiction > General > Literary   [246863  similar products]
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Reviews - What do our customers think?
Forcefully honest insight into young Rilke's mind.  Oct 13, 2002
While this is certainly an interesting reading to fans of Rilke's poems and word plays, the nature in which this book was written made it more than a little rough for those used to Rilke's usual effortless passages. Personally, I love the lightness of being in Rilke's passages, being uttered in the most sensitive, but almost carefree fashion, while maintaining depth and thoughtfulness.

In this book, we witness a much younger Rilke at his most spontaneous: the short parts chronicle his conversations with the people whom he lived with at the time. The different parts tell different stories that he seemed to have improvised at the time. It's very charming to see Rilke's deft and quick observations in inspiration, and how he turns these inspirations into parables and short stories in real time. But the instantaneous creation of these parables robs thoughtfulness off of them, and a particular charm compared to Rilke's more thoroughly thought out writings.

"Letters to a young poet" drew its strength from Rilke's warmth and careful construction, comparable to "The notebooks of Laurids Brigge". This writing maintains the former but not the latter, and it's a pity that he never polished the writings at a later stage in life. The liner notes do mention the manuscripts of this writing having been lost at some point: a pity considering the promising strength of the material here, and the proof of what Rilke could have accomplished given more time to contemplate (for example, the hauntingly intense "Duino elegies" took many decades to write, with Rilke revisiting it again and again over time). It appears that one should view this as a sketchbook; an unfinished work of Rilke.

The Problems of Translation!  Apr 2, 2000
This endearing, wise little book is a must for all Rilke fans. Parables and fables, this book is a great companion to Letters to a Young Poet. Cozy and contemplative like sitting inside a room watching snow fall through a window, these stories are small miracles of faith and love and devotion. However, this book reads much better in the German than it does in this translation. I believe this is the only known English translation and it does not do Rilke's poetic prose justice. That is the problem with translation - the reader is a victim to the translator. Think of all the horrible translations of Dante that existed before Charles Singleton took the poem into his hands. Or the Aeneid or the Odyssey before Robert Fitzgerald.

Nonetheless, this is an important book for those who love the quiet that lies in-between the lines of Rilke's writing. Hopefully, someone like Stephen Mitchell will try their hands at this. We can only hope.


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