Tuesday, May 29, 2007

A Boy Named Rene Maria

When I’m not working, crosswording, blogging, writing or raising children, I like to read. I’ve been reading and enjoying Francine Prose’s book “The Lives of the Muses” and I just finished the chapter about Lou Andreas-Salomé, who was a serial muse, having inspired (among others) Friedrich Nietzsche, Rainer Maria Rilke and Sigmund Freud. I’m more interested in poetry than philosophy or psychoanalysis, so I particularly appreciated learning about Lou’s relationship with Rilke. He was actually born with the name René Maria Rilke, and it was Lou who convinced him to change his first name to the more masculine Rainer.
I can’t help wondering why she didn’t also point out that Maria is not a real macho name either, and that maybe he should sign his poems just Rainer M. Rilke.

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