Rilke and Skeptical Vulnerability
This chapter focuses on how Rainer Maria Rilke addresses the problems of finitude. He believed that the problems of finitude is connected to problems of how to write poetry; thus, he repeatedly staged the question—in letters, prose texts, and some of his poems of how he, in his era and in the face of the historical, social, and political as well as literary problems it poses, can write poetry. In contrast to Friedrich Hölderlin, however, Rilke was not directly engaged with the contemporaneous epistemological explicators of these problems. Instead, he examined authors and artists influenced by empiricist psychology while maintaining his own questions of how art is, can be, or should be made.
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