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The Notebooks of Malte Laurids Brigge


The Notebooks of Malte Laurids Brigge


The Notebooks of Malte Laurids Brigge is the only novel written by the poet, Rainer Maria Rilke. The novel, written in journal form, follows one Malte Brigge, a sorrowful young writer living in squalor. Malte is the last descendent of an aristocratic family and, as he walks the streets of Paris alone, he describes his impressions of the city’s horrors—its outcasts and beggars, its disfigured and emotionally wounded, and becomes increasingly preoccupied with thoughts of poverty, decay and death.  The work is thought to be highly autobiographical.


RAINER MARIA RILKE (1875-1926) was one of the most important German poets and novelists of the twentieth century. His writings include one novel and several collections of poetry, including Letters To A Young Poet, and Duino Elegies, in which he invokes haunting images that focus on an age of disbelief, solitude, and profound anxiety. The Notebooks of Malte Laurids Brigge is considered one of the greatest modernist novels of the twentieth century and frequently appears on lists of the 100 greatest novels of all time.



Extraordinary...Malte Brigge may be given to many melancholy reflections on death, but what he really cares about is love, and The Notebooks is a sustained, if rambling meditation on the subject that would have baffled early readers, but has since proved hugely influential, and is haunting and moving to boot.

Nicholas Lezard

The Guardian


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