Friday, February 24, 2012
Rilke's Notebooks of Malte Laurids Brigge & the Uses of Alienation
I just found this line from The Notebooks of Malte Laurids Brigge (translated by Burton Pike, 2008, Dalkey Archives):
"I still have not become accustomed to this world, which seems to me good”. This entry is followed a page later by a suggestion that art, poetry, writing could be the tools to escape from this hollow simulacrum of a world, into new, more meaningful worlds. Malte quotes from Baudelaire's Prose Poems, “éloignez de moi le mensonges et les vageurs corruptrices du monde” [remove from me the lies and corrupting vapors of the world]"(39).
For Musil, as well as for Rilke, the question of how to live in the world was not to be answered by coming to terms with the world as it is (or was), but as it could, would, should be in future and subjunctive modes. Thus, failure to assimilate to "this world" is a necessary step toward the successful affirmative creation of new worlds through new visions and new arrangements of possibilities.