Fall 2019


Listed in: German, as GERM-350

Formerly listed as: GERM-50

Moodle site: Course (Guest Accessible)


Christian Rogowski (Section 01)


The course will explore the rich legacy of one of the greatest poets of the twentieth century. We will examine Rilke’s peculiar background in the German-speaking minority in Habsburg Prague; his situation in the literary world of fin-de-siècle Munich; the significance of his encounter with Lou Andreas-Salomé; the intellectual experiences that shaped his outlook on life and on poetry (Nietzsche; Russia and Tolstoy; Paris and Rodin); his artistic breakthrough in the two-volume New Poems (1907) and the concept of the "Ding-Gedicht"; the existential crisis reflected in the modernist novel The Notebooks of Malte Laurids Brigge (1910); his reflections on the role of poetry in a modern world of uncertainty in texts such as A Letter to a Young Poet (1903); his artistic crisis of the 1910s; and the extraordinary double achievement of 1922, The Duino Elegies and The Sonnets to Orpheus. Conducted in English (no knowledge of German required), with German majors required to do a substantial portion of the reading in German.

Fall semester. Professor Rogowski.


Attention to Writing, Transnational or World Cultures Taught in English


2020-21: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Spring 2010, Spring 2013, Spring 2016, Fall 2019