I'd be be very interested to have some feedback on some discoveries I've made of Rilke's use of Golden Section/Fibonacci proportionalism as a structural mechanism to build his largest French poem cycle, Vergers, upon. If my analyses are correct then it would be a unique application of such principles in western literature. My extensive essay on the subject may be found in the second part of my (with Alex Barr) recently published verse translation of the cycle, Orchards, published by and available from Starborn Book (you can order by e-mail - the quickest way - from firstname.lastname@example.org).
The cycle is made up of 76 short poems, with different forms, e.g. 8 lines (4 + 4) or 12 lines (4 + 4 + 4) or 9 lines (5 + 4) - and it was the frequency of the occurrence of each form that first led me to suspect something, for each form occurred in a number of times that coorresponded to the Fibonacci series: once, twice, 3x, 21x, 34x . Further investigation included looking at all the forms that occured only twice, i.e. formed pairs or arcs, and it was amazing to see how consistently both the span of these arcs and their distance from beginning, middle and end of the cycle corresponted to the Fib series. There's plenty more, and lest it seems that my imagination is running riot, the following may be relevant:
Rilke lived in Paris at a time when the golden section and fibonacci were almost an obsession among artists and aestheticians etc - and especially among those with whom Rilke was either closely associated or whose work he most cherished - Cézanne, Rodin, Mallarmé, Debussy - and Paul Valéry, his greatest influence when it cáme to French poetry, and who wrote an introduction to an important volume on the golden section. It is scarcely possible that Rilke could not have been invoved in discussions on the subject, though I knew none of this before I started to discover these things in his work.
Tipps und Kritiken zu Werken rund um Rilke
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