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...

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