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Marginal ModernityThe Aesthetics of Dependency from Kierkegaard to Joyce$
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Leonardo Lisi

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780823245321

Published to Fordham Scholarship Online: May 2013

DOI: 10.5422/fordham/9780823245321.001.0001

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Intransitive Love in Rainer Maria Rilke's The Notebooks of Malte Laurids Brigge

Intransitive Love in Rainer Maria Rilke's The Notebooks of Malte Laurids Brigge

(p.247) CHAPTER EIGHT Intransitive Love in Rainer Maria Rilke's The Notebooks of Malte Laurids Brigge
Marginal Modernity

Leonardo F. Lisi

Fordham University Press

Chapter 8 concludes this book with an examination of Rilke's notoriously problematic novel The Notebooks of Malte Laurids Brigge. The chapter begins by analyzing the function of a binary structure in the text between, on the one hand, the logic of fragmentation, which is associated with reality, isolation, and the encounter with death, and, on the other, the logic of unification, associated with conceptual determination, community, and art. It then shows that a further representational principle is introduced in the novel's second half, which combines the elements of fragmentation and unification and is associated with Rilke's notion of “intransitive love.” This last representational principle, in turn, gains interpretative authority by positing a textual dimension that, in the manner of the aesthetics of dependency in general, underlies and connects the previous three without reducing their differences to a common identity: the diachronic, sequential logic that the novel has otherwise always been said to lack.

Keywords:   Rainer Maria Rilke, Malte Laurids Brigge, Fragmentation, Aesthetics of dependency, Unity, Love

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