Duino Elegies

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Title of the first edition (reprint of the special edition) of the Duineser Elegien by Insel-Verlag (1923)

Duinese elegies is the title of a collection of ten elegies by the poet Rainer Maria Rilke , which were started in 1912 and completed in 1922 .

Its name is derived from Duino Castle near Trieste , where Rilke was a guest of Countess Marie von Thurn and Taxis-Hohenlohe in 1912 . There the first elegy was written.

The Duinese Elegies alternate between depicting happy moments - such as in love - and complaining about general problems of human consciousness. Rilke's aesthetic demands on the elegies were the merging of the traditional forms of the hymn and the elegy . With the title and the plaintive attitude they place themselves in the generic context of the elegy, without always strictly complying with the formal criterion of an elegy of being composed in distiches . The meter of the distich is played around in variations and free rhythmic deviations. The fourth and eighth elegies are even written entirely in blank verse .

Description and aspects of interpretation


In the Duinese Elegies , Rilke developed a metaphysical worldview. The literary content of the elegies, however, is by no means exhausted in the formulation of a philosophical thought, but consists to a large extent in the form in which it is expressed. Therefore, the merely paraphrasing summary cannot do justice to the text. The Duinese elegies deal with the contradictions of the human condition , i. H. of human existence and its conditions. For Rilke, human existence becomes problematic due to the "self-reflective division of human consciousness", i.e. the possibility of looking at oneself and the resulting uncertainty, as well as the incomprehensibility of transience and death :

“[...] How is it possible to live when the elements of this life are completely incomprehensible to us? If we are continually inadequate in love, insecure in decision-making and incapable of death, how is it possible to be there? "

In the Duineser Elegies , Rilke thematizes life with these contradictions in a poetic way. The problems are not dealt with and solved in a linear fashion. Rather, in the course of the cycle the space of problems is explored more and more, which is shown in the fact that seemingly solved problems are taken up again and their solutions are discarded or relativized; thus the possibility of mythological consolation from the first elegy is questioned and negated in the second elegy.

In order to show what man is, Rilke uses a common method of literary anthropology : He refers to what man is not in order to describe how man is. Mythopoetically , on the one hand, he contrasts humans with the “counter images” of animals and angels, and on the other hand he refers to the “borderline images of human existence” such as the child, the hero, the young deceased and great lovers. Angel and animal are free from the contradictions of human consciousness described above. But also in the “border pictures” Rilke describes situations in which the human being crosses the boundaries of the “interpreted world”, that is, the boundaries of the world in which human consciousness is trapped.

In a change from suit and praise the place Duino Elegies is an exciting relationship with the world. On the one hand is the desire almost reached after the bar , a safe, objectless skills and fortunes described as exemplified the "hero" of the sixth elegy. On the other hand, there is need and not being needed. This voltage corresponds to a contradictory representation of life, partly as existence , being here praised, partly as lives  - complain - as life in anticipation of death. This contradiction results from man's consciousness and from his knowledge of mortality and death: “We are aware of both blooming and withering.” As an illustration of the contradiction, the motif of upward and downward movement, of being thrown up and down, runs through the Duineser elegies as Image for a movement that already has its opposite in it. Rilke illustrates this rise and fall particularly in the fifth elegy by describing street artists, but also several times in the pictures of the fountain and the tree: This rises up from the earth, and yet again points to the earth with its blossoms or falling fruits low.


Rainer Maria Rilke. Sketch by Leonid Pasternak

Difficulties in understanding arise mainly from the style of the Duinese elegies. The difficulty in reading the Duinese Elegies arises not only from the heavy use of relative and comparative clauses . The elegies deviate from grammatical norms in the use of the conjunctions that , but and and , in that Rilke often ignores the meaning of the conjunction and uses it as signal words. With frequent changes of tense , the mode of the verb is syntactically ambiguous and often can not be unambiguously deduced even by semantic analysis. Another example of sinner convincing and therefore understanding relevant deviations of the grammatical standard is Rilke manner of use of the verb can , the Rilke often not as modal auxiliary used, but standalone, without supplementary main verb . In addition, the Duinese elegies are particularly densely filled with motifs through numerous references to one another , which are given their own meaning through these references, which sometimes deviates from the usual literal sense. A central example of this is the "angel", which should not be confused with a Christian conception of angels. The pictorial, metaphor-rich language, which often takes very concrete observations as an occasion for analogizing poetic considerations, is also special for the Duinese Elegies .

Recurring motifs

The angel

“The 'angel' of the elegies has nothing to do with the angel of Christian heaven (rather with the angelic figures of Islam) [...] The angel of the elegies is the creature in which the transformation of the visible into the invisible, which we do, already appears completed. For the angel of elegies, all past towers and palaces exist because they have long been invisible, and the towers and bridges that still exist in our existence are already invisible, although still physically permanent (for us). The angel of elegies is the being who is responsible for recognizing a higher level of reality in the invisible. Hence "terrible" for us, because we, his lovers and transformers, are still attached to the visible. "

- Rilke in a letter to Witold Hulewicz, November 13, 1925

The angel is a leitmotif of the Duinese elegies . The existence of the angel is problematic: although the angels live “behind the stars”, this is not a transcendence separated from immanence  - it is seen as possible that “someone [would] suddenly take me to his heart”. But at the same time the existence of the angel is questionable, the relationship between man and angel is hypothetical. The angels are "birds of the soul". This has been interpreted in such a way that the angels are creatures of the human soul, then pure ideas, or else creatures of the divine soul.

Like the counterparts of the animal and the doll, the angel serves to describe what man is not . In particular, the recurring complaint about the aporias of human consciousness are counteracted by the angel: The angel has infinite consciousness, but has no physical existence. This, and the timelessness of the angel (“angels (one says) often do not know whether they go under / living or dead”), is “terrible” for people: the difference between man and angel is a painful difference that a prehistoric era, which mythology reports, was less than it is today.

Single descriptions

The first elegy

Sent to Marie Taxis from Duino on January 21, 1912, probably immediately after it was written

At the beginning of the elegy there is the impossibility of calling an angel. Building on the complaint about this impossibility, the elegy suggests essential motifs of the cycle: Angels are presented as counter-images of humans , which are beautiful and terrible at the same time, and birds that are perhaps capable of feeling emptiness , and thus those about the human Go beyond awareness. Because in the first elegy this emptiness is an example of the problems of human consciousness: emptiness is the space that the dying person leaves behind, but also the content of the embrace, i.e. the other person, the loved one, is emptiness. Thus the void stands for the inadequacies of human consciousness in understanding death and the beloved. In addition to the counter-images of angels and animals, in the first elegy Rilke also introduces the borderline images of human existence that recur in the cycle: the lovers , the hero and the young dead . The difference between the dead and the living is described as only apparent and as irrelevant to angels. The way of being of the dead thus creates a meaning with which the existence of the living can be interpreted.

The tone of the first elegy alternates between plaintive and praising. With the leitmotif of need comes the various human problems, the problem of not needing and not being needed, but also the happier moments of spring . The night , “the longed-for / gently disappointing” and the music are portrayed as delimiting experiences in which it turns out that “we are not very reliable at home / in the interpreted world”.

The mythological example of Linos - a Greek demigod who was killed at a young age - demonstrates how people can deal with the consciousness of death: in the lament over Linos' death there is the consolation of music, which is capable of the To fill emptiness that a dead man leaves when he dies with vibration, "which now carries us away and comforts and helps."

The second elegy

"Tobias and the Angel", sculpture in the Church of San Nicolao in Milan

Duino, late January / early February 1912

The second elegy takes up the motifs of the first and deepens them. Like the first elegy, the second elegy begins with a reflection on the angel's invocation. The first three stanzas of the second elegy contrast angels and humans. The angels are described as terrible with the same words as in the first elegy. In comparison between now and the myth of the apocryphal script of the book of Tobias , the distance between angels and humans is shown today: In the book of Tobias, the disguised archangel Raphael helps Tobias. In the time of the myth, the angel's disguise was enough to bridge the difference between angel and human. The disappearance of this time and with it the loss of the - not explicitly mentioned - biblical paradise are lamented, and the distance between man and angel is portrayed as unbridgeable: The ecstatic praise of the angels is followed by the complaint about the transience and futility of all human attempts, that is about what seemed manageable at the end of the first elegy with the help of myth. This relativizes and limits the comforting ability of the myth invoked in the first elegy.

As in the first elegy, the lovers are also discussed in the second elegy. In contrast to the first elegy, love is represented here as a paradoxical experience between two people. If in the first elegy the loneliness of the lover is deplored, in the second elegy the individuality dissolves into love. Rilke uses the image of mutual drinking while kissing as a model for love as a reciprocal action in which both active subjects become passive objects: If both lovers drink each other in a kiss, both become a drink and the individual drinker becomes the doer disappears in a strange way. The images of fleeting touches on Attic tombstones could resolve this paradox by teaching lovers to be careful when touching one another. But because we are too restless, because “our own heart transcends us”, we today cannot make these models fruitful in an Apollonian , moderately creative art.

The third elegy

Representation of Neptune with a trident - Neptune sculpture in the Neptune Fountain in Berlin-Mitte

Started on Duino in early 1912; extended and completed in late autumn 1913, Paris

Following on from the end of the second elegy, in the third elegy Rilke problematizes the contrast between love and sex drive. The instinct that is unconscious to the youth ("what does he know about the lord of lust") is expressed with the mythic metaphor of Neptune, the "hidden guilty river god of blood" and his classic mythological attributes "trident" and "shell" conjured up, with which he in mythology storms, here "dark wind", excites the storms of passion. This is contrasted with the lightness of the beloved, which is compared to the early wind. It is true that the beloved triggers love in the “young man”. But it only provides the impetus for uncovering the sexual instinct already established in the boy and still lulled by the mother: “You certainly frightened his heart; but older horrors / rushed into him at the touching impetus. ”The“ countenance / his beloved ”is pure and, like the constellation, is in a cosmic order, whereas the instinct is unrecognizable. The chaotic violence of the instinct is alleviated in the course of the elegy and transformed into something familiar. The protective power of the mother, who familiarizes the child with the darkness, is cited as an example of such relief.

The love of a young man for a “girl” is not independent of the instinct, but the whole tribal history of human sexuality goes into it: “but the fathers who are based on us like rubble from the mountains; but the dry river bed / of former mothers -; but the whole / noiseless landscape under the cloudy or pure doom - this came before you, girl "

The elegy, which in places reminds of Sigmund Freud's instinct theory , closes with the call to the beloved to alleviate the young man's instincts: the “tendrils” and the “jungle” - a common metaphor for instinctual life - are contrasted with the cultivated “garden” to which the girl should bring her lover close.

The fourth elegy

Munich, November 22nd and 23rd, 1915

The fourth elegy is a critique of human consciousness. Human consciousness is “not united”, that is, it produces contradictions: “But where we mean one thing, we can feel the whole effort of the other.” As in the eighth elegy, the animal consciousness serves as a contrast : The migratory birds and the lions know nothing about death and are at one with themselves. The split in human consciousness arises on the one hand through memory, through the awareness of the passing of time ("Everything / is not itself. O hours in childhood, / since there was more than just the past behind the figures and not the future in front of us ”) - this problem is dealt with separately in the eighth elegy. On the other hand, consciousness is divided by interpersonal relationships. As an example, the love relationship is used, the seamless union of which - as described in the second elegy - fails: "If lovers do not keep stepping to the edge, one within the other, / the promised expanse, hunting and home." The conflict between parents becomes clearer and child: the fear of the father, which is in contradiction to the hope of the child, haunts the son even after the death of the father.

At the center of the elegy is the description of an inner theater behind the “heart curtain”. The doll and the angel are described as extreme poles and counter-images of human existence: the doll as pure externality, pure object - the doll's face is pure "appearance" - the angel as pure inwardness, pure subject. On the "puppet stage", when the marionette puppets are played by an angel, the division of human consciousness is lifted: "Then what we are constantly dividing / dividing by being there comes together."

The last stanza speaks of the child's pure consciousness: it is still unsplit and knows no time. It is asked who robbed the child of this form of consciousness and complains about this as murder.

The fifth elegy

Château de Muzot, February 14, 1922

The fifth elegy uses a group of acrobats as the central symbol for the endeavors of people, especially lovers. The acrobats, the "travelers, these a little / fugitives as ourselves", are described as restless, they are not aware of the drive to perform them. Their upward and downward movements, especially the human pyramid, the "tree of common / built movement (which, faster than water, has spring, summer and autumn in a few minutes / minutes)", serve as an image for deceptive balance and transience. In their upward and downward movement, they embody a prototype of Rilke's figure of existence, as it is also depicted in the seventh elegy with the “fountain / which takes on the falling to the urging jet”.

The hard, painful physical training protects the acrobats from emotional pain. The practiced ease and skill of the acrobats is ultimately a hope for the imperfect lovers, "who never get it here / to the point of ability". The two levels of the picture, the level of the acrobats and that of the lovers, are connected by the similarities in the description of their places: The "carpet" of the pavement on which the artists appear returns as an "unspeakable carpet" , as a place of love perfection. The allegory of the "milliner, Madame Lamort " - Frau Tod - connects these two picture levels: On the one hand, she has her boutique on a square in Paris where the acrobats perform, on the other hand she "loops and twists" she "the restless paths of the earth" - just as the travelers are looped - and invents "frills, flowers, cockades, artificial fruits - all / untrue colored - for the cheap / winter hats of fate."

The sixth elegy

An Egyptian relief, a “tired picture” (as it is called in [VI.19 f.]) - representation of Ramses II with a chariot, similar to the reliefs in Karnak, to which Rilke refers

First approach: February / March 1912, Duino. Verses 1–31: January / February 1913, Ronda. Verses 42–44: late autumn 1913, Paris. Verses 32–41: February 9, 1922, evening, Château de Muzot

At the beginning of the sixth elegy, the fig tree is admired, of which Rilke writes that it produces fruit with almost no previous blossom. This picture is the starting point of a complaint about people who consider it to be glorious to bloom, that is to say: to stand in the prime of life, of youth, because the “finite fruit”, old age, is already too much with death is connoted.

The hero, on the other hand, is one of the successful counterparts to the needs of the human condition . Like the travelers (in the fifth elegy) he embodies an extreme possibility of human existence, here turned into the positive: “The hero is wonderfully close to the young dead.” Because the hero lives unconcerned about death and transience, his existence differs from the "lingering" and "lasting" of ordinary people: "His rise is existence."

The seventh elegy

Château de Muzot, February 7, 1922. Final version of the conclusion: February 26, 1922

Like the first, second, and tenth elegies, the seventh elegy begins with a reflection on poetry. It is true that in this respect the seventh elegy is constructed parallel to the first two elegies. In contrast to the first two elegies, however, an angel is not clearly addressed: At first it seems open who is being addressed, then the person addressed changes gliding from the beloved to the angel. The poet's “advertisement” is compared as a “scream” with the bird's courtship call. The second and third stanzas compare this solicitation with the escalating upward movement of the day: "Then up the steps, shout steps up". This upward movement, which "already anticipates the fall / in the promising game", is paralleled with the rising season of spring and finally culminates in the experience of the high nights of summer.

The poet's call for the “lover” called not only the beloved, but also the dead girls from their graves. These remind of the glory of existence: “Being here is glorious. You knew it, girls, you too ”. The reflection on the rising advertising turns to an inwardly turned world view. Rilke goes over to a "doctrine of metamorphosis": Everything is apparent as long as it is not "transformed inside". The modern age, the “zeitgeist”, makes the religion represented by “temple” and “cathedral” disappear and thus drives it into the invisible. In doing so, however, the “advantage / that they now build it inside , with pillars and statues, bigger!” Is not redeemed.

The last stanza refers to the beginning of the elegy by again negating the advertising. The figure of thought carried out here is related to that in the first elegy: If the lyrical self of the first elegy were not heard, even if it screamed, the angel would not come here, even if it were courted. This paradox and impossibility of wooing the angel is implied with the play on words “way away” - as going there or, in the opposite direction, as reading away - and illustrated in the image of the outstretched arm, which means both invitation and defense . In this defense, the final and the initial rejection of advertising differs: At the beginning of the elegy, giving up advertising compares the singer with the courting bird: the singing bird "almost" forgets its individuality, becomes almost one with its surroundings, the Spring, and almost forgets its poverty. The utterance of the lyrical self, looking at its own poetry, “my calling” is transformed at the end of the elegy into a “defense and warning”. The rejection of the transcendent figure of the angel who does not come is related to the doctrine of metamorphosis, according to which meaning can only be found in the transformation of the external into inwardness, after the models for explaining existence have become non-visual-abstract in accordance with the zeitgeist , after the inevitable “shift of events into the invisible”.

The eighth elegy

Château de Muzot, 7./8. February 1922

The eighth elegy follows on from the fourth elegy in terms of content, and with the meter of the blank verse also formally. Here, too, the idea of ​​the animal, which has no knowledge of death, serves as a counter-image to emphasize human consciousness as one that knows about its end. But now the counter-image is extended to the counter-position, and above it is presented as a reversal. In changing perspectives, the view is opened to this “fate: to be opposite and nothing but that and always opposite”, and perspectives with regard to various aspects are presented as reversed, turned around, turned around. In contrast to human consciousness, the animal face appears to be “free from death. We see him alone ”. And this is how people see “design” and “world”, but not the open , “because we already turn the early child around and force it to see design backwards”.

Man's view of the open is blocked by his view of death. So: "It is always the world and never nowhere without not: the pure". As human beings we have “not a single day / the pure space ahead of us” - that: that which is free from negation, “unsupervised that one breathes” and “infinitely knows ”. As a child, “one in the quiet” can get lost in this and “is shaken”; in dying everyone will become one and “ is it ”, because he no longer sees death so closely “and stares out , perhaps with a great animal eye”; and some will come close to it “as if by mistake”, amazed, in love - but then it remains “opened up behind the other ...”, “who blocks the view”, and “nobody can get away with him”. In this way, “the world becomes his again”.

Etruscan sarcophagus depicting the buried

After the juxtaposition of “awareness of our kind” and the “safe animal that is pulling towards us / in a different direction”, the positions of the animals are relativized and graded. Mammals do not know death, but the “memory” of their origin from the womb. Only the non-lactating animals, the mosquito and the bird, do not have this memory, whereby the bird, because it comes from the egg, occupies an intermediate position. To illustrate this ambivalence, "half the safety of the bird", Rilke uses the image of Etruscan sarcophagi, which have the image of the buried on the lid, so that the deceased is both inside and outside the sarcophagus. Rilke is alluding to the appearance of the distinction between life and death in the first elegy. Rilke puts the quality of having no memory of a mother's womb in relation to the ability to fly. Between the flying non-mammals and the mammals, the bat stands as a flying mammal, as it were as an irritation: “As if in front of itself / the air flashes through, like when jumping / going through a cup. So the trail / the bat tears through the china of the evening. "

The depiction of the animals is followed by the complaint about the organizing activity of human consciousness as an inwardly directed attempt to shut in, with which man perishes: “We are overcrowded. We arrange. It is falling apart. / We organize again and fall apart ourselves. "

The ninth elegy

Vers 1 / 6a and 77/79: March 1912, Duino; the core: February 9, 1922, Muzot

The ninth elegy changes from complaining about human inadequacy to praising human existence and praising the world ("Praise the world to the angel"). The decisive factor for this envelope is the lyrical self's insight into the uniqueness of all that is and into the necessity of being modest. The big feelings are "unspeakable". They belong to the realm of the angel ("... you cannot boast of him with what is wonderfully felt"). For humans - more precisely: for the poet - it is important to grasp the unique of every single thing ("... once each, only once ..."), to grasp in the word, thus to "transform" and thus to "transform the earth ... invisible into." to let us arise ”. This is the “mandate” to “say things in a way that things themselves never intimately believed to be.” With this mandate, human existence acquires meaning. If the lyrical I asked in the first elegy: “Oh, who can we need?” The answer is now: Things, the earth, they need us.

The tenth elegy

Verses 1–15: Duino, early 1912; extended but not completed in late autumn 1913, Paris. First version of the whole, fragmentary: Paris at the end of 1913; discarded in February 1922 and replaced on February 11, 1922 by the final version - completely new from verse 16 onwards

The tenth elegy begins with the hope, "That one day, at the end of the grim insight, / cheers and glory, I will sing to approving angels". The suffering endured in lifetime will then turn into joy. Because the suffering is not only temporary, but is "settlement, camp, land, place of residence": The pain must be taken seriously and cannot be wasted in hoping for its end.

In a second part of the elegy, which was written nine years later, the still existing strangeness of suffering is described. This is done with the same introductory word “Of course” that was introduced into the world of the dead in the first elegy. This suggests the strangeness of suffering, the opposition between suffering and non-suffering, as apparently similar to the opposition between life and death.

In a topography of suffering - suffering is visualized as a "city of suffering" and as a "land of suffering" - the experience of suffering is spatialized. The lyrical self criticizes the consolation of the church: "Oh, how without a trace an angel would crush the market of consolation / which the church limits, your bought one:" Reality can be found beyond the borders of the city of suffering. Happiness is portrayed in satirical phrases as unsteady and random.

After the description of the inadequate, strange city of suffering, at the end of the tenth elegy there is a "parable": The " kittens of the empty / hazel, the hanging" and the "rain that falls on dark ground in spring" point downwards, but they show us "the emotion / which almost dismisses us when something happy falls ." The contrast between rising and falling, which is often illustrated in the Duinese elegies, is combined in the fact that " rising happiness" "almost dismays " us


Ludwig Rubelli von Sturmfest: Duino Castle , painting from 1883

Creative crisis

What is remarkable about the origin of the Duinese elegies "is that a narrow lyrical work, a cycle of ten elegies, over a period of one and a half decades determined the existence of its author so exclusively that biographically and literarily hardly anything else could acquire weight of its own." Almost everything that influenced Rilke in the time after painting was later to find its way into the work on the Duinese elegies.

The writing of the Duinese elegies in the period from 1912 to 1922 fell into a biographical and industrial history crisis of Rilke. On the one hand, this crisis is attributed to external causes: The First World War renewed Rilke's childhood trauma . Above all, the Viennese military service called Rilke's concept of life as a poet into question: he was drafted after he had written the Fourth Elegy , and so the interrupted work on the elegies had just started again. On the other hand, it is seen as a symptom of modern artistic development. After working on the Malte , however, he was also hampered by his high demands: “The desperation of my circumstances is slowly becoming clear to me: how nothing (can) come after that book, how it went no further, not even to death. Somehow I got behind death with him, to where there is nothing. "

Type of creation

Duino Castle
Chateau Muzot

For a long time Rilke looked for a suitable place to write the elegies. "A large number of letters shows the great importance Rilke attached to the external creative conditions, the finding of a» retreat «[a place of retreat] that could provide the completion of the› Elegies ‹." From October 22, 1911 to May 9 In 1912 Rilke was at Duino Castle near Trieste to visit Countess Marie von Thurn and Taxis-Hohenlohe. As he passed the cliffs at one point , he is said to have heard a voice in the wind carrying the words "Who, if I screamed, heard me from the angels' orders?" called out. Allegedly inspired by this event, he began his First Elegy with these words. The places of writing: Schloss Duino , Schloss Berg and Chateau Muzot offered Rilke not only sedentariness and seclusion, but also an important landscape, "visible equivalents for the spaciousness of the invisible" landscape "that he wanted to create in his ten songs."

Phases of writing

The ten-year writing of the Duinese Elegies took place in six time-limited phases. Only the first elegies were written at Duino Castle between January 21 and March 1912. The work was continued at the following times and places:

  • January – February 1913, in Ronda : VI. Elegy, verses 1-31;
  • Late autumn 1913, Paris: Elegy IV, verses 42–44, extension of Elegy X;
  • 22-23 November 1915, Munich: IV. Elegy;
  • November 12, 1920 - May 10, 1921, at Berg Castle;
  • 7-26 February 1922, Chateau Muzot: VII. (February 7th), VIII. (February 7th - 8th), IX. (February 9), IV. (Verses 32–41; February 9), X. (February 11, new from verse 13) and Elegy V. (February 14).


  • First edition: Rainer Maria Rilke: Duineser Elegien , Insel, Leipzig 1923
  • Rainer Maria Rilke: Works. Annotated edition in four volumes. Edited by Manfred Engel u. a., Volume 2: Poems. Insel, Frankfurt am Main and Leipzig 1996.


  • Hannah Arendt , Günther Stern : Rilkes Duineser Elegien in: Neue Schweizer Rundschau / Knowledge and Life No. 23, 1930, pp. 855–871.
  • Günther Däss: Intuition and Faithfulness to Reality in Rilke's Duinese Elegies . Haarlem University Press 1970.
  • Manfred Engel: Rainer Maria Rilke's “Duineser Elegien” and modern German poetry. Between the turn of the century and the avant-garde Metzler, Stuttgart 1986 (Germanistische Abhandlungen, 58).
  • Ulrich Fülleborn, Manfred Engel (ed.): Materials on Rilke's "Duineser Elegien" Vol. 1: Self-testimonies ; Vol. 2: History of Research ; Vol. 3: Suhrkamp reception history , Frankfurt 1980–1982.
  • Romano Guardini : Rainer Maria Rilke's interpretation of existence. An interpretation of the "Duineser Elegien" Kösel, Munich 1953.
  • Gerhard Oberlin : Being in decline. Rainer Maria Rilke's writer's block and his last poetological poems. In: New German Review, Vol. 20 / 2005−6, pp. 8–40.
  • Jacob Steiner: Rilke's "Duineser Elegien" Francke, Bern 1962.
  • Anthony Stephens: "Duineser Elegien" In: Manfred Engel, Dorothea Lauterbach (Ed.): Rilke manual. Metzler, Stuttgart 2004, pp. 365-384.

Web links

Wikisource: Duineser Elegien  - Sources and full texts

Individual evidence

  1. Manfred Engel: Duineser Elegien . In: Kindlers Literature Lexicon .
  2. Rilke in the letter to Lotte Hepner from November 8, 1915, quoted from Ulrich Fülleborn, Manfred Engel (ed.): Materials on Rainer Maria Rilke's “Duineser Elegien” . Vol. 1, Suhrkamp, ​​Frankfurt am Main 1980, p. 133.
  3. ^ Rainer Maria Rilke: Works . Annotated edition in four volumes. Ed. V. Manfred Engel et al. Volume 2: Poems , p. 630.
  4. ^ Rainer Maria Rilke: Works . Annotated edition in four volumes. Ed. V. Manfred Engel et al. Volume 2: Poems , pp. 612-614.
  5. [I.13] - All references in this article in square brackets refer to Rainer Maria Rilke: Werke . Annotated edition in four volumes. Ed. V. Manfred Engel et al. Volume 2: Poems , pp. 199-234. The Roman number indicates the number of the elegy, the Arabic number the corresponding verse.
  6. [I.45], [VI.7], [IX.17]
  7. [II.38], [V.74], [V.97], [V.101], [VI.35], [VIII.56]
  8. [II.10], [X.110]
  9. [I.86]
  10. [VI.21], [VII.39-45], [IX.10], [IX.78]
  11. [VI.21], [IX.1]
  12. [IV.6]
  13. [VI.5], [VII.15-16]
  14. [IV.1], [V.40-42], [VI.5-6], [X.107-109]
  15. For the following paragraph see also Christa Bürger : Textanalyse und Ideologiekritik [1971]. In: Ulrich Fülleborn, Manfred Engel (ed.): Materials on Rainer Maria Rilke's "Duineser Elegien" , Frankfurt am Main: Suhrkamp 1980, Vol. 2, pp. 264-278
  16. for example in [I.14], [I.43], [I.54], [II.18], [II.38], [II.76]
  17. ↑ e.g. in [I.1]
  18. ^ Rainer Maria Rilke: Works . Annotated edition in four volumes. Ed. V. Manfred Engel u. a., Vol. 2 Poems , p. 612
  19. See also the section “The Angel” under “Recurring Motifs” in this article
  20. ^ Rainer Maria Rilke: Works . Annotated edition in four volumes. Ed. V. Manfred Engel et al. Volume 2: Poems , p. 603 f.
  21. For the entire paragraph see also: Rainer Maria Rilke: Werke . Annotated edition in four volumes. Ed. V. Manfred Engel et al. Volume 2: Poems , p. 612 ff.
  22. [II.7]
  23. [I.3]
  24. For this, and for the following paragraph cf. Joachim H. Seyppel: The "deadly angel" in Rainer Maria Rilke's "Second Elegy" . In: Philological Quarterly 37 (1958), pp. 18-25.
  25. [II.2]
  26. [I.82-83]
  27. See for example the detailed description of the second elegy in this article
  28. ^ All dates of origin after Rainer Maria Rilke: Works . Annotated edition in four volumes. Ed. V. Manfred Engel u. a., Vol. 2: Poems
  29. [I.1-10]
  30. [I.23-25]
  31. [I.93-94]
  32. [I.21-25]
  33. [I.22]
  34. [I.69-83]
  35. Christa Bürger: Textanalyse und Ideologiekritik [1971]. In: Ulrich Fülleborn, Manfred Engel (ed.): Materials on Rainer Maria Rilke's “Duineser Elegien” , Frankfurt am Main: Suhrkamp 1980, vol. 2, p. 265
  36. [I.49-50]
  37. [I.39-40]
  38. [I.9-10], [I.86]
  39. [I.26]
  40. [I.19-20]
  41. [I.12-13]
  42. [I.93-94]
  43. [I.95]
  44. [II.1-2]
  45. [I.7], [II.1]
  46. [II.7]
  47. cf. Rainer Maria Rilke: Works . Annotated edition in four volumes. Ed. V. Manfred Engel u. a., Vol. 2: Gedichte , pp. 630-631
  48. [II.10-17]
  49. [I.92-95]
  50. [I.22]
  51. [II.63-65]
  52. [II.66-67]
  53. [II.75]
  54. [II.74-79], cf. also Rainer Maria Rilke: works . Annotated edition in four volumes. Ed. V. Manfred Engel u. a., Vol. 2: Poems , p. 634
  55. [III.4]
  56. [III.2]
  57. [III.8]
  58. [III.9]
  59. ^ Rainer Maria Rilke: Works. Annotated edition in four volumes. Ed. V. Manfred Engel u. a., Vol. 2 Poems, p. 639
  60. [III.9]
  61. [III.19]
  62. [III.19-20]
  63. [III.11-12]
  64. [III.7]
  65. [III.26-65]
  66. [III.75]
  67. [III.71-75]
  68. [III.50]
  69. [III.54]
  70. ^ Rainer Maria Rilke: Works. Annotated edition in four volumes. Ed. V. Manfred Engel u. a., Vol. 2 Poems, p. 641
  71. [III.83]
  72. ^ Rainer Maria Rilke: Works . Annotated edition in four volumes. Ed. V. Manfred Engel u. a., Vol. 2: Poems , p. 642
  73. [IV.2]
  74. [IV.9-10]
  75. [IV.64-67]
  76. [IV.11-12]
  77. [IV.43-47]
  78. [IV.19]
  79. [IV.29]
  80. [IV.53]
  81. [IV.57-58]
  82. [V.1-2]
  83. [V.4-6]
  84. [V.40-57]
  85. [V.42-44]
  86. [V.77-80]
  87. [VII.15-16]
  88. Cf. Rainer Maria Rilke: Works . Annotated edition in four volumes. Ed. V. Manfred Engel u. a., Vol. 2: Poems p. 652
  89. [V.51-55]
  90. [V.73-80]
  91. [V.96-97]
  92. [V.10]
  93. [V.96]
  94. [V.107]
  95. [V.90]
  96. [V.89]
  97. [V.5]
  98. [V.88-93]
  99. [VI.8-10]
  100. [VI.10]
  101. ^ Rainer Maria Rilke: Works . Annotated edition in four volumes. Ed. V. Manfred Engel u. a., Vol. 2 Poems , p. 665.
  102. [VI.20]
  103. [VI.8]
  104. [VI.20]
  105. [VI.21]
  106. [VII.7-50]
  107. [VII.75-92]
  108. [VII.2-9]
  109. [VII.14]
  110. [VII.16-17]
  111. [VII.3]
  112. [VII.26]
  113. [VII.30]
  114. [VII.39]
  115. ^ Rainer Maria Rilke: Works . Annotated edition in four volumes. Ed. V. Manfred Engel u. a., Vol. 2 Poems , pp. 618–620
  116. [VII.49]
  117. [VII.55]
  118. [VII.57]
  119. [VII.74]
  120. [VII.62]
  121. [I.1]
  122. [VII.86]
  123. [VII.87]
  124. Cf. Rainer Maria Rilke: Works . Annotated edition in four volumes. Ed. V. Manfred Engel u. a., Vol. 2 Poems , p. 673
  125. [VII.3-5]
  126. [VII.89]
  127. [VII.91], cf. also Weisinger, Kenneth D .: The structure of Rilke's "Seventh Duino Elegy" in: Germanic Review 49 (1974), pp. 215-239.
  128. [VII.86]
  129. ^ Rilke in a letter of February 23, 1921 to Wilhelm Hauenstein, quoted in n. Rainer Maria Rilke: Works . Annotated edition in four volumes. Ed. V. Manfred Engel u. a., Vol. 2 Poems , p. 619
  130. [VIII.1-4]
  131. [VIII.33-34]
  132. [V.9-10]
  133. [VIII.8]
  134. [VIII.16]
  135. [VIII.28]
  136. [VIII.6-8]
  137. [VIII.16-17]
  138. [VIII.14-15]
  139. [VIII.18]
  140. [VIII.19]
  141. [VIII.19-20]
  142. [VIII.20-21]
  143. [VIII.21]
  144. [VIII.23]
  145. [VIII.26]
  146. [VIII.26-27]
  147. [VIII.24-25]
  148. [VIII.27-28]
  149. [VIII.28]
  150. [VIII.35]
  151. [VIII.36-37]
  152. [VIII.57]
  153. [VIII.56]
  154. Cf. Rainer Maria Rilke: Works . Annotated edition in four volumes. Ed. V. Manfred Engel u. a., Vol. 2 Poems , p. 680
  155. [I.69-83]
  156. [VIII.62-65]
  157. [VIII.68-69]
  158. That the mode of the first verse is the optative is shown by the verb form "fail" [X.4]
  159. [X.1-2]
  160. [X.7-8]
  161. [X.14-15]
  162. [X.15]
  163. [X.10-12]
  164. [X.16]
  165. [I.69]
  166. [I.69-86]
  167. [X.16]
  168. [X.88]
  169. [X.20-21]
  170. [X.34]
  171. [X.25]
  172. [X.26]
  173. [X.27-28]
  174. [V.106]
  175. [X.107-108]
  176. [X.109]
  177. [X.111-113]
  178. [X.110]
  179. [X.113]
  180. Ulrich Fülleborn: Introduction . In. Ulrich Fülleborn, Manfred Engel (ed.): Materials on Rainer Maria Rilke's ›Duineser Elegien‹ . Frankfurt am Main: Suhrkamp 1980, Vol. 1: Self-testimonials , p. 7
  181. ^ Rainer Maria Rilke: Works. Annotated edition in four volumes. Ed. V. Manfred Engel u. a., Vol. 2 Poems, p. 416
  182. Rilke's recording of August 18, 1910, quoted from Ulrich Fülleborn, Manfred Engel (ed.): Materials on Rainer Maria Rilke's ›Duineser Elegien‹ . Frankfurt am Main: Suhrkamp 1980, Vol. 1: Self-testimonials , p. 32
  183. Rilke said in a letter to Marie Thurn and Taxis of January 29, 1912
  184. Ulrich Fülleborn: Introduction . In. Ulrich Fülleborn, Manfred Engel (ed.): Materials on Rainer Maria Rilke's ›Duineser Elegien‹ . Frankfurt am Main: Suhrkamp 1980, Vol. 1: Self-testimonials , pp. 12-13
  185. Ulrich Fülleborn, Manfred Engel (ed.): Materials on Rainer Maria Rilke's ›Duineser Elegien‹ . Frankfurt am Main: Suhrkamp 1980, Vol. 1: Self-testimonials , p. 41.
  186. ↑ The source of this anecdote is the memory of Marie von Thurn and Taxis, cf. Leppmann: Rilke. His life, his world, his work. Pp. 341-342
  187. Ulrich Fülleborn: Introduction . In. Ulrich Fülleborn, Manfred Engel (ed.): Materials on Rainer Maria Rilke's ›Duineser Elegien‹ . Frankfurt am Main: Suhrkamp 1980, Vol. 1: Self-testimonials , p. 13
  188. Again in Fülleborn, Engel: Material, Vol. 2 (see below) Suhrkamp, ​​Frankfurt 1982 ISBN 3-518-38510-0 , pp. 45-65; Engl. Transl. By Colin Benert in: Hannah Arendt, Reflections on Literature and Culture Stanford University Press 2007, ISBN 978-0-8047-4499-7 , pp. 1-23. In a preliminary remark on the 1982 reprint, Anders distances himself very clearly from the joint elaboration at the time, p. 45