Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Du Einsamster: You Lonely One -- (A Translation from Rilke's The Notebooks of Malte Laurids Brigge)

"Young man anywhere, in whom something is rising up that causes you to shiver, make use of the fact that no one knows you.
Junger Mensch irgendwo, in dem etwas aufsteigt, was ihn erschauern macht, nütz es, daß dich keiner kennt...

And if they contradict you -- those who take you for a nobody; and if they give you up completely -- those with whom you would associate; and if they pretend you don't exist on account of your dear ideas: what is this clear danger, which holds you together inside yourself, compared to the cunning hostilty of later fame, which makes you impotent by scattering you.

Beg no one to speak of you, not even contemptuously.
Bitte keinen, daß er von dir spräche, nicht einmal verächtlich...

And when time goes by and you mark your name coming around amongst people, take it no more seriously than everything else you find in their mouths. Think: it has become poorly. And put it away from you. Take another name, any, so that God can call you in the night. And hide it from everyone."

Die Aufzeichnungen des Malte Laurids Brigge (1910)

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