"Hiersein" in Rainer Maria Rilke's Seventh and Ninth Duino Elegies
Hébert, Lindsay Marie
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This thesis is an analysis of the word “Hiersein” according to its meaning in the context of Rainer Maria Rilke’s Duino Elegies. The word “Hiersein”, a noun most accurately translated into English as “being-here”, appears only in the seventh and ninth of the ten Elegies. It is, however, a central concept of the Elegies and represents an essential stage in their progression. The content of these two poems involves descriptions and imagery that further aid the reader in understanding what Rilke truly intended in his use of this word. In addition to the interpretation of these texts, analyses of two correlating texts, a segment of Walter Pater’s The Renaissance and Ein Brief by Hugo von Hofmannsthal, are included to provide further insight into the concept of “Hiersein”. In spite of their focusing primarily on the topic relating to “Hiersein”, both the seventh and the ninth Elegies possess elements which contradict it. These contradictions are also addressed here.