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Rainer Marie Rilke’s Stories of God – About the Book

Rainer Maria Rilke (1875 – 1926) is considered one of the German language’s greatest poets. His most famous works are the Sonnets to Orpheus and the Duino Elegies. His two most famous prose works are the Letters to a Young Poet and the semi-autobiographical The Notebooks of Malte Laurids Brigge.

Rilke wrote Stories of God in 1899 in the span of seven nights. He later wrote that the stories were a “youthful” attempt to bring God into “direct” and “daily” use. The edition on which these translations are based is the 1904 edition. In this edition, Rilke had revised the stories variously and added the dedication which appears in the book.

At least two English translations of these stories — excepting A letter from lame Ewald — exist. It is the very differences between those two volumes that inspired the idea to have a different translator work on each story.  In addition, each translator has written an essay on how each approached the various translation problems contained therein.

The resulting work, we hope, will be of interest to students and practitioners of the art of translation, everyday students of German, as well as to devotees of Rilke and, of course, the spiritual themes at the heart of the work.

Rainer Maria Rilke’s Stories of God —

  • By Way of Introduction: The Tale of God’s Hands
  • The Stranger
  • Why the benevolent God wants there to be poor people
  • How betrayal came to Russia
  • How old Timofej died singing
  • The Song of Justice
  • A Scene from the Venetian Ghetto
  • About One Who Eavesdrops On The Stones
  • How the thimble came to be God
  • A Tale of Death and a Strange Postscript to It
  • An Organization Called Forth by an Urgent Need
  • The Beggar and the Proud Maiden
  • A Tale told to the Dark
  • Addendum: A letter from lame Ewald

Essays on Translating Rilke’s Stories —

  • The Opposite of Immaculate
  • Essay on Translating Der Fremde Mann
  • “What a splendid art. And what a sad profession.”
  • The Art and Challenge of Translation
  • Translating Rilke – an approach
  • Translating Inaccessible Silence
  • Trapped in a Bubble of Language?
  • A Stony Way Full Of Stumbling Blocks
  • Reconciling Twain, Rilke and the German language
  • With Respect to the Author, from the Translator
  • Translating Another Rilke
  • Translating “The Beggar and the Proud Maiden”
  • Reflections on Rilke’s Fascination with the Dark
  • Translator’s notes on Ein Brief des lahmen Ewald

Rilkes Die Geschichten vom lieben Gott —

  • Als Einleitung: Das Märchen von den Händen Gottes
  • Der fremde Mann
  • Warum der liebe Gott will, dass es arme Leute giebt
  • Wie der Verrat nach Russland kam
  • Wie der alte Timofei singend starb
  • Das Lied von der Gerechtigkeit
  • Eine Szene aus dem Ghetto von Venedig
  • Von Einem, der die Steine belauscht
  • Wie der Fingerhut dazu kam, der liebe Gott zu sein
  • Ein Märchen vom Tod und eine fremde Nachschrift dazu
  • Ein Verein aus einem dringenden Bedürfnis heraus
  • Der Bettler und das stolze Fräulein
  • Eine Geschichte dem Dunkel erzählt
  • Ein Brief des lahmen Ewald

Edited by Jack Beacham

Published by
Aventure Works, Inc.
5547 Mahoning Avenue, No. 323
Austintown, Ohio 44515

Order Information: ISBN: 1-4392-2561-3 / ISBN: 9781439225615

Editor’s Note

Buy Stories of God in paperback format. Stories of God is also available in Kindle format:

You can also order the book through any retailer using either of the ISBN numbers noted above. If you are in the media and would like a review copy, send me a review copy request for Stories of God in an email along with your contact information.

Thank you

Copyright 2009 – 2016 – Aventure Works, Inc.

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