rilke in love


As a lover of famous correspondence, especially extraordinary love letters, and of Rainer Maria Rilke, I was instantly enamored with Rilke and Andreas-Salomé: A Love Story in Letters (public library)—a magnificent collection of letters exchanged between Rilke and the Russian-born writer, intellectual, psychoanalyst, and “muse of Europe’s fin-de-siècle thinkers and artists” Lou Andreas-Salomé, 15 years his senior. The relationship, which began when 21-year-old Rilke met the 36-year-old and married Salomé, commenced with the all-too-familiar pattern of one besotted lover, Rilke, flooding the resistant object of his desire with romantic revelations, only to be faced with repeated, composed rejection as Salomé claimed to wish she could make him “go completely away.”

more from Maria Popova at The Atlantic here.