Figures of Transformation: Rilke and the Example of Valéry

Richard Cox
12 November 1979
229 × 152 mm
199 pp
Paperback: 978-0-85457-092-8
Detection of the influence of one writer on another is a time-honoured critical pursuit. Disclaimers of such influence on the part of writers themselves are almost equally commonplace. The first problem raised by Rilke's encounter with the work of Valéry is that it offers the unusual spectacle of a writer proclaiming a deep indebtedness before a largely unbelieving critical world. The ascertainable facts concerning Rilke's reading of Valéry have been well documented elsewhere, and this study focuses on Rilke's expression of an immediate and overwhelming sense of affinity with Valéry which critics have for the most part ignored or set aside.