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‘O dieses ist das Tier, das es nicht gibt’: Rilke and unicorns

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‘O dieses ist das Tier, das es nicht gibt’: Rilke and unicorns


I’m going to start (and end, of course) with the untitled poem from the Sonette an Orpheus that everyone cites, in often horrible translations, when they write about unicorns. Then I will take you on a magical mystery tour of unicorn lore & images – and what I want to do with this material is look at the peculiarly Rilkean angle on the trope: taking the traditional erotics of virginity associated with this myth and giving it his distinctive spatial-temporal angle of the intransitive. An unpublished paper by Professor Naomi Segal. For copyright reasons, images are not included.

Segal, Naomi (2006) ‘O dieses ist das Tier, das es nicht gibt’: Rilke and unicorns. [Discussion or working paper] (Unpublished)


Item Type: Discussion or working paper
Subjects: Culture, Language & Literature
Keywords: Rainer Maria Rilke, poetry, unicorns, lore, images
Divisions: Institute of Modern Languages Research
Collections: IMLR Staff Papers
Depositing User:
URI: http://sas-space.sas.ac.uk/id/eprint/66
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