Friday, December 04, 2009

A hero's hero

The lantern jawed fellow above is one Rainer Mara Rilke who is our 105th hero of the day. He was born this day 1875 in Prague, Bohemia (then a part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire). I will confess that I had never heard of Rilke until about a month ago when I read the auto-biography of Stefan Zweig, who was a friend of Rilke. Only through Zweig do I know anything about Rilke, and Zweig was a great admirer of Rilke both as a person, and as an author. That is enough for me to anoint him the hero of an otherwise bare day. I have put some of his works on my to read list. His letters to a young poet are supposed to be quite good, and I have high hopes for them. Any knucklehead can google him, and see how his life played out, and the ups and downs he had to face (seems there were more downs than ups). He was, according to Zweig, one of the best conversationalists you would ever want to meet. So, for writing some (what I can only assume) is some lovely prose, and poetry that I will get around to reading someday soon, Rainer Maria Rilke (December 4th 1875-December 29th, 1926, at the age of 51 of leukaemia), you are my hero of the day.

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