Childhood in Prague, adolescence in Munich and Berlin, years in Worpswede, Paris and, finally, Switzerland – the variety of the stages of Rainer Maria Rilke's life (1875-1926) is reflected in the works of the poet. Rüdiger Görner follows Rilke's tracks but avoids modish interpretations and periodizations. Instead, he focusses on the process of creation and the unity of Rilke's oeuvre. Görner shows the poet in the context of his time, analyzing his most important influences – from Rodin to Cézanne and Valéry – and illustrating the effects of music, art and politics. All this, however, is based on Rilke's language which, for Görner, represents the only means to understand the man and his work. In contrast to the many long winded academic studies of Rilke, Görner presents a compact analysis of his attempt – perhaps the last successful one – to turn the world into poetry.
"The heart reaches further than the farthest lands." (Rainer Maria Rilke)