Literature + Fine Arts
You Must Change Your Life:
The Story of Rainer Maria Rilke and Auguste Rodin
Tuesday, November 27
Rainer Maria Rilke’s Letters to a Young Poet is one of the most beloved books of the twentieth century. It has sold millions of copies and inspired generations with its galvanizing wisdom on how to lead an artistic life. In You Must Change Your Life, debut author Rachel Corbett tells the remarkable, long-buried story of where Rilke’s ideas originated.
In 1902, Rilke, broke and suffering from writer’s block, accepted a commission to go to Paris to research and write a short book about the sculptor Auguste Rodin. The two were almost polar opposites: Rodin in his sixties, notoriously carnal, revered; Rilke in his twenties, delicate, unknown. Nonetheless, they fell into an instantaneous friendship and would work closely together as master and disciple for the next few years, as Rodin showed Rilke how to become the writer he wished to be.
Rachel Corbett is the deputy editor at Artnet.