Sign in  |  Register

The New Criterion

The New Criterion is probably more consistently worth reading than any other magazine in English.
- The Times Literary Supplement


May 2012

Beauty is not for us to make

by Kelsey Bennett

On Rainer Maria Rilke.

Wo ist zu diesem Innen

ein Außen?

—Rainer Maria Rilke, New Poems, II

Disturbed by what he saw, smelled, and heard from the city that was foreign to his ear and to his sensibilities, twenty-six-year-old Rainer Maria Rilke passed his nights in Paris among company well known for mixing wretchedness with exultation: Job and Baudelaire. In a letter to Lou Andreas-
Salomé, he describes the unlikely consolation the French poet provided him at the time:

How far away from me [Baudelaire] was in everything, one of the most alien to me; often I can scarcely understand him, and yet sometimes deep in the night when I said his words after him like a child, then he was the person closest to me and lived beside me and stood pale behind the ...

This article is available to subscribers and for individual purchase

Subscribe to TNC (Print and Online editions)

Subscribe to TNC (Online only)

Purchase article credit and clip this article

If you already have an account login first

Kelsey Bennett is a writer living in Colorado.

more from this author

This article originally appeared in The New Criterion, Volume 30 May 2012, on page 53

Copyright © 2015 The New Criterion |

E-mail to friend

The New Criterion

By the author

Baudelaire's dark mirror

by Kelsey Bennett

On the affinity between Baudelaire & Delacroix.

You might also enjoy

Max Beerbohm’s humanity

by Richard Tillinghast

Reading Max Beerbohm reveals much about the times in which he lived.

Between the lines of history

by Joshua Dill

A look at two of important players in the world of historical fiction: Robert Merle and Arturo Pérez-Reverte.

The heaven-taught ploughman

by Neilson MacKay

Though beloved in the nineteenth century by the most famous critics, Robert Burns is now largely overlooked.

Most popular

view more >

Subscribe to our newsletter!

* indicates required


The Walter Duranty Prize for Journalistic Mendacity
On May 5, 2014, The New Criterion and PJ Media presented the second Walter Duranty Prize for Journalistic Mendacity. The award is given to highlight egregious examples of dishonest reporting. Also awarded this year was the Rather, a new award for lifetime achievement in mendacious journalism.
The Duranty Prize is named after Walter Duranty, the New York Times Moscow corresponded in the 1920s and 1930s who whitewashed Joseph Stalin’s forced starvation of the Ukrainians (the Holodomor) and many other aspects of Soviet oppression. Duranty was awarded the Pulitzer Prize in 1932 for his efforts. It has never been revoked.
Audio copyright Ed Driscoll,

Introduction to The Kennedy Phenomenon
Roger Kimball introduces The Kennedy Phenomenon, a conference presented by The New Criterion on Tuesday, November 19.

The Kennedy Phenomenon: "Watching the Kennedy Train-Wreck"
Roger Kimball reads Peter Collier’s paper on oft-overlooked unsavory details of the Kennedys' lives. Much of the paper is drawn from Collier’s book, coauthored with David Horowitz, The Kennedys: An American Drama.