Auguste Rodin

Auguste Rodin

Hardback Working Classics

By (author) Rainer Maria Rilke, By (photographer) Michael Eastman, Translated by Daniel Slager, Introduction by William Gass

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  • Publisher: ARCHIPELAGO BOOKS
  • Format: Hardback | 88 pages
  • Dimensions: 211mm x 248mm x 18mm | 612g
  • Publication date: 1 March 2004
  • Publication City/Country: New York, NY
  • ISBN 10: 0972869255
  • ISBN 13: 9780972869256
  • Illustrations note: 14 COLOR AND B&W PHOTOGRAPHS
  • Sales rank: 522,905

Product description

Sculptor Auguste Rodin once wrote that "one has only to look at a human face to find a soul, no feature deceives; hypocrisy is as transparent as sincerity. The inclining of the brow, the least furrowing of a look may reveal the -secrets of the heart." Rodin was fortunate to have as his -secretary Rainer Maria Rilke, one of the most sensitive poets of our time. These essays discussing Rodin's work and development as an artist are as revealing of Rilke as they are of his subject. Written in 1903 and 1907, these meditations mark the entry of the poet into the world of letters. The book sheds light on the profound psychic connection between the two great artists, both masters of giving life to the invisible within the visible, concerned with "the unnoticed, the small, the concealed . . . with the profound and surprising unrest of living things." Over a dozen -reproductions of Rodin's little known water-colors and drawings will accompany the essay.Rainer Maria Rilke, born in Prague in 1875, is arguably the greatest German poet since Goethe. His major works include his "Duino Elegies," "The Sonnets to Orpheus," "The Notebooks of Malte Laurids Brigge," "The Book of Hours," and "Letters to a Young Poet."Daniel Slager (Translator) is an editor at Harcourt and a contributing editor to "Grand Street." His translations of texts by Bertolt Brecht, Franz Kafka, and Heiner Muller have been widely acclaimed, and his renderings of Durs Grunbein, Marcel Beyer, Felicitas Hoppe, and Terezia Mora have marked these authors' first publications in the U.S.William Gass (Introduction) is the author of four novels and five books of essays. He has been the recipient of grants from the Rockefeller, Lannan, and Guggenheim foundations. He has received two National Book Critics Circle Awards for Criticism. Gass lives in St. Louis where he is the Director of the -International Writers Center.

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Author information

Daniel Slager is an editor at Harcourt, a contributing editor to Grand Street, and a widely published translator from German. William Gass (The Tunnel, Omensetter¢s Luck, and Reading Rilke) received the National Book Critics Circle Award for Criticism, a Lannan Lifetime Achievement award, the Pen-Nabokov Prize, and a gold medal for fiction from the American Academy of Arts and Letters. Michael Eastman has received a National Endowment for the Arts grant and has been published in The New York Times, Life, American Photographer, and Communication Arts.

Review quote

Combining Daniel Slagers's elegant translation from the German of Rilke's writings on Rodin with Michael Eastman's photographs of Rodin's sculptures, Auguste Rodin offers a fresh look at an unlikely mentorship. —The New York Times Book Review Brilliant and subtle but richly colored new photographs of Rodin's sculptures by Michael Eastman make this new translation of Rilke's classic meditation on Auguste Rodin a feast for the eye and mind. National Book Critics Circle Award winner Wiliam Gass examines the text and the setting to provide insight and context. Fine writing, beautiful images, and exciting ideas make this edition of Rilke's Auguste Rodin a real treat. —R.K. Dickson Poets and the visual arts—it is a vast subject; and all through the twentieth century artists and writers collaborated almost constantly, sometimes with such intensity that it seemed as if they were passing back and forth a single flask labeled 'Inspiration.' Few poets have written more eloquently about the visual arts than Rilke, and one of the most beautiful books of the year is his Auguste Rodin (Archipelago Books, $30), translated by Daniel Slager, with photographs by Michael Eastman, which bring us close to the charged surfaces of Rodin's bronzes, and catch their storm-tossed intensity. Rodin was at times a disturbingly bombastic artist—while his Gates of Hell may be the work of a genius, it is also pure kitsch—but in the years just after 1900, when Rilke got to know him, the avant-garde was still inclined to embrace Rodin as a rough-hewn visionary, a man in whose studio, as Rilke wrote, 'everything was becoming, but nothing was in a hurry.' For Rilke, both Rodin and Cézanne suggested, through the very physicality of their labors, a route beyond fin-de-siècle preciosity. Rilke discovered in Rodin a man who was utterly committed to the materiality of the artistic vocation. Rodin taught Rilke to make his feelings concrete. —Ruth Franklin