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Letters on Cézanne

Letters on Cézanne

By Rainer Maria Rilke

For a long time nothing, and then suddenly one has the right eyes.

Virtually every day in the fall of 1907, Rainer Maria Rilke returned to a Paris gallery to view a Cézanne exhibition. Nearly as frequently, he wrote dense and joyful letters to his wife, Clara Westhoff, expressing his dismay before the paintings and his ensuing revelations about art and life.

Rilke was knowledgeable about art and had even published monographs, including a famous study of Rodin that inspired his New Poems. But Cézanne's impact on him could not be conveyed in a traditional essay. Rilke's sense of kinship with Cézanne provides a powerful and prescient undercurrent in these letters -- passages from them appear verbatim in Rilke's great modernist novel, The Notebooks of Malte Laurids BriggeLetters on Cézanne is a collection of meaningfully private responses to a radically new art.

Paperback
112 pages
Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2002
5.6 x 0.33 x 8.2 inches
ISBN 9780865476394
Letters, Poetry

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