Love in Paramyth: On Rilke's Figuration of the Orpheus Myth

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Authors

This essay discusses the Orpheus myth, its sources, and its meaning as well as its role in art and literature, in the context of current theories of myth. In particular, it considers Rilke’s reception of Orpheus in The Sonnets to Orpheus as well as in his early narrative poem from 1904 to 1905, “Orpheus. Eurydice. Hermes,” the only poem that bears Orpheus in its title. The focus of the interpretation is on Rilke’s revision of myth: the poet makes use of the Orpheus myth to exemplify his distinctive conception of love. Special attention is given to how the representation of Eurydice in “Orpheus. Eurydice. Hermes” already embodies Rilke’s view of unpossessive love that becomes central in his later works.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationRilke's SONNETS TO ORPHEUS : PHILOSOPHICAL AND CRITICAL PERSPECTIVES
EditorsHannah Vandegrift Eldridge, Luke Fischer
Number of pages16
Volume1
Place of PublicationOxford
PublisherOxford University Press
Publication date20.06.2019
Edition1
Pages178-193
Article number6.
ISBN (Print)978-0-19-068542-3
ISBN (Electronic)978-0-19-068541-6
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 20.06.2019

    Research areas

  • Philosophy - theores of myth, rationality, love, orpheus, Eurydice, death