Rilke declined to critique [Kappus’s poetry], saying “most events are unsayable, occur in a space that no word has ever penetrated, and most unsayable of all are works of art, mysterious existences whose life endures alongside ours, which passes away.” They maintained a correspondence for six years, though nine of the ten letters Rilke wrote Kappus were sent in 1903 and 1904. Rilke emphasized again and again the importance of solitude for an artist: “Nobody can advise you and help you, nobody. There is only one way. Go into yourself.”
My latest Classic Returns column for LJ!