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Ardour

J.P. Stern, 3 November 1983

The Sacred Threshold: A Life of Rainer Maria Rilke 
by J.F. Hendry.
Carcanet, 184 pp., £9.95, July 1983, 0 85635 369 8
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Rilke: sein Leben, seine Welt, sein Werk 
by Wolfgang Leppmann.
Scherz Verlag, 483 pp., £11, May 1981, 3 502 18407 0
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Rainer Maria Rilke: Leben und Werk im Bild 
edited by Ingeborg Schnack.
Insel Verlag, 270 pp., £2.55, May 1977, 3 458 01735 6
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... preoccupation, not with himself, but with his poetry. His immense correspondence, J.F. Hendry writes, was ‘vital to his poetry in the way that reviews, essays and lectures are to other poets’ (though the essays, reviews and lectures that he did write fill a sizeable volume). Despairing confessions of failure, self-exhortations to patience, the ...

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