Story lead from New York Times online edition:
Review of Reading Rilke: Reflections on the Problems of Translation By William H. Gass (Knopf) in the NY Times Online edition. To read full review, Click Here.
Open-eyed, Rainer Maria Rilke died in the arms of his doctor on December 29, 1926. The leukemia which killed him had been almost reluctantly diagnosed, and had struck like a storm, after a period of gathering clouds. Ulcerous sores appeared in his mouth, pain troubled his stomach and intestines, he slept a lot when his body let him, his spirit was weighed down by depression, while physically he became as thin and fluttery as a leaf. Since, according to the gloom that naturally descended on him, Rilke’s creative life was over, he undertook translations during his last months: of Valery in particular — “Eupalinos,” “The Cemetery by the Sea ” — and composed his epitaph, too, invoking the flower he so devotedly tended.
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