When Rilke was in Paris, in the early years of the twentieth century, he read Baudelaire’s The Flowers of Evil, and soon discovered a poetry that would have deeply marked his language from then on. Baudelaire became for Rilke a constant reference, a haunting yet necessary presence in his work. This book traces the poetic relationship between these two key figures of modern poetry, focusing on the function and construction of poetic images. Moving between biography and close reading, this study explores the nature of images in the poetry of each author, retrieving and reviving an almost forgotten category of exegesis: the figural image.
Elena Fabietti has studied Italian Literature at the University of Milan and holds a PhD in Comparative Literature from the University of Siena. She is completing a PhD at the Humanities Center of Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore. She has published essays on literary theory and criticism in specialized journals (“Moderna”; “Letteratura Letterature”; “Symploke” among others) and in edited volumes.