Auguste Rodin

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Archipelago Books, 2004 - Art - 88 pages
2 Reviews

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 Müller have been widely acclaimed, and his renderings of Durs Grünbein, Marcel Beyer, Felicitas Hoppe, and Terézia 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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Briefly reviewed, this book is certainly notable
in that there are two great artists here, Rilke
and Rodin. I was surprised that these two ever
met. Sculptors or any artist rarely describe the
work in progress and to have Rilke take on the
duty what could possibly be better. Rodin was
a difficult man to live with, earthy, screaming
orders to everyone and everyone putting up
with him because of his renown. The phrase
of Rilke's "everything small has such bigness
in it" sort of sums this book in total. He was
speaking of Rodin's summation of "creation" itself.
 

Review: Auguste Rodin

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I read this cover to cover probably three or four times before I could convince myself to move on to a new subject. The musings of Rodin's poetic companion were an inspiration to this new student of ... Read full review

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About the author (2004)

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.

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