“Incidentally, if I were young today, I would absolutely look for a daily, very heterogeneous way of applying myself and try to install myself in a tangible domain to the best of my abilities.  Art today might be served better and more discreetly when it becomes the quiet affair of certain special days or years (which does not then have to mean that it has to be carried out on the side or amatuerishly; [Stephane] Mallarme, to cite the highest example, had been a teacher of English all of his life), but the ‘profession’ itself is overcrowded with intruders, with interlopers, with exploiters of the increasingly hybridized trade, and it can be renewed and reinvested with meaning only bu the quiet solitary individuals who do not consider themselves part of it and who accept none of the customs brought into circulation by literary authors.  Whether as a private individual or by remaining inconspicuous behind a well-executed trade, the writer will be all the more likely to correct conditions that have long become impossible if his poetic silence will then carry a certain significance next to his most profound eloquence” (86).

from The Poet’s Guide to Life: The Wisdom of Rilke, Trans. Ulrich Baer

 

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