Childhood Historical Context

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In 1900, Rilke, disgusted by the industrialization of Europe's cities and the waning of communal life, traveled to Russia for the second time, with his friend Lou Andreas-Salome. There, he met writer Leo Tolstoy and attended numerous Russian religious services that, in their rituals and passion, instilled in Rilke a sense of the divine in humanity. Rilke was especially taken by the Russian peasants' conception of God, whom they saw not only in one another but also in everyday objects and even animals. Upon returning to Europe, Rilke joined an artists' colony in Worpswede, near Bremen, Germany, where he met his future wife, sculptor Clara Westhoff, and painter Paula Becker, who became a very close friend. At Worpswede, Rilke, already a student of art history, participated in discussions of art and philosophy and solidified his devotion to writing and his sense of himself as an artist...

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This section contains 521 words
(approx. 2 pages at 400 words per page)
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.
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