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The Book of Hours

This a complete translation of Rainer Maria Rilke's ""The Book of Hours"" that restores to the English-speaking reader a critical work in the development of a significant figure in 20th-century German poetry. Conveying an almost mystical conception of the relationship between God, the human being and nature, ""The Book of Hours"" (""Das Stundenbuch"", first published in 1905) is a series of intimate prayers written as if by a Russian monk turned painter - writings that bring to bear the profound influence of Rilke's journeys to Russia and Italy at the turn of the century. A tripartite work comprised of ""The Book of the Monkish Life"", ""The Book of Pilgrimage"", and ""The Book of Poverty and Death"", the book is published here in a bilingual format, with the original German and the English translation on facing pages. Annemarie S. Kidder's translation imitates Rilke's uncomplicated and melodic flow, his rhythm and, where possible, his rhyme, while remaining true to content. Each line closely reflects the thought of the original as it strives to preserve Rilke's simplicity of style, economy of words, and candour in addressing God. Kidder's introduction and commentary offer historical and interpretive background information, largely from Rilke's own diaries and correspondence, chronicling the influence of various geographical settings on the writing of ""The Book of Hours"" and illustrating his own spiritual quest. Also included are translated excerpts from an earlier manuscript of ""The Book of Hours"", along with prose inserts that interpret the reading of the poetry.
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About the Author

RAINER MARIA RILKE (1875-1926) is the author of Duino Elegies, Sonnets to Orpheus, and Notebooks of Malte Laurids Brigge. Bilingual editions of the Duino Elegies and New Poems are published by Northwestern University Press. ANNEMARIE S. KIDDER, interim associate pastor at Mt. Washington Presbyterian Church in Cincinnati, has translated works by Luise Schottroff, Raimon Panikkar, and Jurgen Becker.


"[Kidder] presents careful, rhymed versions of the entire three-part work, which reflects on the duties of the artist and his or her relations to various institutions and constituencies, including God, kings and "the house of the poor," which is "like a child's hand." --Publishers Weekly

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