Books

The Notebooks of Malte Laurids Brigge

Rainer Maria Rilke

'There are quantities of human beings, but there are many more faces, for each person has several.'

This dreamlike meditation on being young and alone in Paris is a feverish work of nerves, angst and sublime beauty from one of the twentieth century's greatest poets.

A new series of twenty distinctive, unforgettable Penguin Classics in a beautiful new design and pocket-sized format, with coloured jackets echoing Penguin's original covers.

Letters to a Young Poet

Rainer Maria Rilke

'What matters is to live everything. Live the questions for now.'

A hugely influential collection for writers and artists of all kinds, Rilke's profound and lyrical letters to a young friend advise on writing, love, sex, suffering and the nature of advice itself.

One of 46 new books in the bestselling Little Black Classics series, to celebrate the first ever Penguin Classic in 1946. Each book gives readers a taste of the Classics' huge range and diversity, with works from around the world and across the centuries - including fables, decadence, heartbreak, tall tales, satire, ghosts, battles and elephants.

Letters to a Young Poet

Rainer Maria Rilke (and others)

At the start of the twentieth century, Rainer Maria Rilke wrote a series of letters to a young officer cadet, advising him on writing, love, sex, suffering and the nature of advice itself; these profound and lyrical letters have since become hugely influential for writers and artists of all kinds. This book also contains the 'Letter from a Young Worker', a striking polemic against Christianity written in letter-form, near the end of Rilke's life. In Lewis Hyde's introduction, he explores the context in which these letters were written and how the author embraced his isolation as a creative force. Charlie Louth's afterword discusses the similarities and contrasts of the two works, and Rilke's religious and sexual wordplay. This edition also contains a chronology, notes, and suggested further reading.

Biography

Rainer Maria Rilke was born in 1875 in Prague. He studied literature, art history and philosophy in both Munich and Prague, and is often considered one of the German language's greatest 20th century poets. His two most famous verse sequences are the Sonnets to Orpheus and the Duino Elegies; his two most famous prose works are the Letters to a Young Poet and the semi-autobiographical The Notebooks of Malte Laurids Brigge.