Art and the Artist according to Rainer Maria Rilke Cover Image
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Sztuka i artysta według Rainera Marii Rilkego
Art and the Artist according to Rainer Maria Rilke

Author(s): Grażyna Krupińska
Subject(s): Language and Literature Studies, Literary Texts, Poetry, Studies of Literature, German Literature
Published by: Wydawnictwo Uniwersytetu Śląskiego
Keywords: Rainer Maria Rilke; artist; creative process; poetry of things; myth of the artist

Summary/Abstract: Numerous modernist authors pondered on questions concerning the essence of art, the duty of the artist and the principles of the creative process. A German-language poet born in Prague, Rainer Maria Rilke (1875–1926) spent his lifetime trying to cope with these questions. By means of an analysis of his poetry, prose, and essays, but also diaries and correspondence, the author of this article endeavours to answer the question whether and how the image of the artist and art has been evolving in Rilke’s work. His volume from 1907, entitled New Poems, ought to be considered the groundbreaking one, as from this volume on Rilke begins to create the so-called poetry of things (Dingdichtung). The artist ceases to be a prophet, or a creator almost equal to God. His duty now is serving art, even at the price of suffering and loneliness, illness and insanity. The work created by such an artist is fully independent and unassisted; it makes it possible to get closer to the essence of things. In turn, in the structure of a novel entitled The Notebooks of Malte Laurids Brigge, one can trace an analogy to the creative process. Finally, a question is posed to what extent Rilke, and his understanding of art and the duty of the artist contribute to the process of mythologising theartist, whose high point is identified at the turn of the 19th and the 20th centuries.

  • Issue Year: 2017
  • Issue No: 1
  • Page Range: 63-82
  • Page Count: 20
  • Language: Polish