Transformation and Existence: Rainer Maria Rilke's Dinggedichte and Phenomenology

Brigham Young University. Department of Humanities, Classics, and Comparative Literature, 2008 - 94 pagina's
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This thesis explores an interpretation of Rainer Maria Rilke's Dinggedichte based on particular schools of phenomenological thought. It attempts to situate an interpretation of the Dinggedichte as acts of transformation and aesthetic epiphanies whithin the context of Heideggerian and Sartrian phenomenology. These existentially influenced phenomenologies help to elucidate the general worldview informing Rilke's poetics, and particularly during the later work. The analysis develops a philosophical sense of this worldview through analysis of both early and later work in order to clearly articulate the existential backdrop against which the Dinggedichte were composed. The general argument is that the Dinggedichte's moments of transformation and epiphany help to overcome an alienation imposed on the mind by itself. This process is achieved through the power of poetic language, which functions creatively, to bring things into being with an overwhelming vitality. Besides this claim, the thesis also asserts the validity of particular links between the early and later periods of Rilke's oeuvre, as well as the general usefulness of existential phenomenology as an interpretive tool for Rilke's work.

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