For the first time, the true scope and relevance into the esoteric and occult aspects of Rilke's work is made available, to his many English-speaking readers. Dr. Magnusson reveals an alternative interpretation by focusing on Rilke's fascination with occultism, spiritualism and parapsychology as it plays out in his work, tapping into the culturally intrinsic nature of the work, in order to lead the reader to a deeper understanding of this widely read poet.
Foreword by Kathleen L. Komar; Preface; Research History and Method; Acknowledgements; Part I: The Young Rilke's Reception of Occultism; 1. Occult Influences in Prague; 2. Flammarion's Urania: Clairvoyance, Telepathy, and the Continuity of the Occult Epistemology in Rilke's Work; 3. The Occultist Carl du Prel as Nietzchean Eagle: Thematic Echoes in Rilke's Book of Hours; Part II: Rilke and Parapsychology; 1. Maeterlinck's 'False curiosity': La Mort; 2. Schrenck-Notzing, Tischner and Wasielewski Excursus: The Ideal of 'The Whole' in a Letter to Countess Nora and in The Life of Mary; Part III: Rilke's Reception of Spiritualism; 1. The Aesthetical Fascination of the Occult: Rilke and Princess Marie Thurn und Taxis; 2. The Duino Seances and the 'Unknown Lady'; 3. The Tension between Spiritualism and Psychology; 4. Rilke Acting as a Medium for the Spirit of Count C.W.; 5. Spiritualistic Seances in the Early Years in Switzerland; Part IV: Spiritualistic and Occult Motives in Rilke's Works; 1. The Spiritualistic Requiems; 2. Spiritualistic Elements in the First Duino Elegy; 3. Scandinavian Courtesy and Spiritualistic Modernity in Ranier Maria Rilke's The Notebooks of Malte laurids Brigge; Epilogue: Contemporary Spiritual Rilke Reception; Bibliography; Index of Subjects; Index of Names.