Fresh from the Press

This is Augustus Young’s most recent book, published by Ashgrove Publishing in mid-2023. The cover shows a detail of the Gustave Courbet painting, Le Bord de Mer. The book, the labour of many years, heavy and light, is available on Amazon, and this is its blurb:

When Franz Xaver Kappus, an aspiring poet and military cadet, wrote to Rainer Maria Rilke for advice in 1903, he could not in his wildest dreams have expected such a voluminous response from the acclaimed German writer. The young poet wasn’t to know that he would serve as a sounding board. Rilke, in his late twenties, had a lot on his mind; not least his estrangement from his wife, the mother of his eighteen-month child; his love-hate engagement with Paris and Auguste Rodin; the beginnings of a novel; and the modernisation of his poetry. Focusing on this moment of personal and artistic crisis, Augustus Young picks up the thread of Rilke’s life, seeking to weave a patchwork portrait of the enigmatic poet and his intimates. Of the latter, most prominent are his long-suffering wife Clara and Lou Andreas-Salome, a close confidante and ruthless mentor. Utterly committed to creating the conditions he deemed necessary to make poetry, Rilke’s personal life is an analyst’s dream. Building on the foundation of the surprisingly open Letters to a Young Poet, this book is a new and revealing investigation into one of the most misunderstood poets of the Modernist era and how his poems relate to the life.

The Duras Press

The Duras Press