Books: Assets & Liabilities of Genius

RAINER MARIA RILKE — E. M. Butler —Macmillan ($4.50).

Rainer Maria Rilke could serve as a symbol of the best and worst meanings of the word genius. He was a lap dog for cultivated ladies, loveless as a serpent, soaked to the soul in the most indecent self-pity. He was also ruthlessly loyal to the fact of his genius as a poet. Professor Butler looks at him with a level, sane, exacting eye. The result is the first biography and critique of Rilke to be worthy of its subtle, over-culted subject, "the greatest German poet...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now


Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!