One has just been sent out as a biblical dove, has found nothing green, and slips back
into the darkness of the ark -- Kafka

Friday, January 8, 2016

Rilke's Prose (via Stephen Mitchell)

Have been reading some selected prose pieces of Rilke. Thought I'd start there and then reread Duino. Anyway, don't think I've ever come across this piece before: seemingly written in response to some Christian group. Much of it is interesting; much of it nebulous (like a lot of Rilke). I suppose the part that tickled me most is the part where he compares the sexuality of an adult (centered you know where) and the sexuality of a child (according to Rilke and his friend: scattered throughout the child's body).

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An excerpt:

The terrible untruth and uncertainty of our time has its foundation in our not acknowledging the happiness of sex, in this strangely mistaken guiltiness, which continually increases, and cuts us off from all the rest of Nature, even from the child, although, as I learned during that unforgettable night, his, the child's, innocence doesn't at all consist in the fact that he, so to speak, doesn't know sex,--"on the contrary," said Pierre almost voicelessly, "that inconceivable happiness which, for us, awakens in one place deep within the fruitflesh of a closed embrace is still namelessly scattered everywhere in his whole body." To describe the peculiar situation of our sensuality, we would have to say: Once we were children everywhere, now we are children just in one place.
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