The Book of Hours

20 September 2024

Territory Rights — Worldwide.

Rainer Maria Rilke (Author), Edward Snow (Translator)

Description

A gorgeous new translation of the first significant book of poems by Rainer Maria Rilke, one of the greatest poets of the twentieth century

Long hailed as a masterwork of modern German literature, The Book of Hours (1905) marks the origin of Rainer Maria Rilke’s distinctive voice and vision—where clarity of diction meets unexpected imagery, where first-person poetry discovers its full lyric possibility. In these audacious poems, a devout but intimately candid speaker addresses an ultimately unknowable deity. “What will you do, God, when I die?” Rilke’s speaker asks, passing through love, fear, guilt, anger, bewilderment, loneliness, tenderness and exaltation in his search for meaning.

In this dual-language edition, Edward Snow, “the most trustworthy and exhilarating of Rilke’s contemporary translators” (Michael Dirda, The Washington Post), makes Rilke’s achievement accessible as never before in English. Snow combines striking fidelity to the German text with an uncanny ability to convey not just its tones and cadences but the captivating psychological presence that animates Rilke’s best poems. Mystical and moving, The Book of Hours retains its power to astonish.

Reviews

"For those like me, who have only been able to read Rilke in translation, what a gift Edward Snow has been over the years. His lucid, sharp and musical versions are a joy to read and reread, and constantly seem to propose the idea that these poems are as close to Rilke's astonishing originals as English readers are likely to get. " — PJ Harvey

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Hardback

9781324074960

147 x 218 mm • 368 pages

£26.99

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Ebook

9781324074977

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£26.99

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