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He would become one of the most important poets of the twentieth century; she was the über-muse of Europe's turn-of-the-century thinkers and artists. In this never-before-translated collection of letters spanning almost thirty years, the poet Rainer Maria Rilke and Lou Andreas-Salomé, a writer and intellectual fourteen years his senior, pen a relationship that moves from that of lovers to that of mentor and protégé, to that of deepest personal and literary allies. From the time of their first meeting and consequent affair to Rilke's death in 1926, Rilke and Salomé reeled through extremes of love, pain, annoyance, desire, and need--yet guided each other in one of the most fruitful artistic exchanges in twentieth-century literature. Despite illness, distance, and emotional and psychological pain, they managed to cultivate, through strikingly honest prose, an enduring and indispensable friendship, a decades-long heartfelt dialogue that encompassed love, art, and the imagination.
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