Rainer Maria Rilke Biography | Author of Childhood

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Born December 4, 1875, in Prague, Austria, Rene Karl Wilhelm Johann Josef Maria Rilke was the only child of Josef Rilke, a minor railway official, and Sophie Entz Rilke. In 1897, Rilke changed his name to Rainer Maria Rilke. By most accounts, he had an unhappy childhood, raised by parents who were mired in an unhappy marriage. Rilke was educated at military boarding schools and, later, studied philosophy for a short time at Prague's Charles-Ferdinand University. His real education, however, came after he left Prague. In Munich, he socialized with the city's literati, published two poetry collections, and staged a few of his plays. In Venice, he met Lou Andreas-Salome, an intellectual more than a decade older than Rilke, who had a strong influence on many of Europe's writers and artists, including Freidrich Nietzsche. Andreas- Salome became Rilke's lover for a short time, accompanied him on his travels throughout Europe and...

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This section contains 477 words
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Buy the Childhood Study Guide
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Poetry for Students
Childhood from Poetry for Students. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.