Pg. 135 of David Markson’s copy of A Ringing Glass: The Life of Rainer Maria Rilke by Donald Prater:
     On which David Markson put a check next to a mention of Gwendolen John:     “Augustus John’s sister Gwen, who had often posed for Rodin.”
—
     The same Gwen about whom Markson says…
     “Fleeing the start of World War II, Gwen John collapsed and died on a street in Dieppe.”     From pg. 173 of Reader’s Block.
—
     David Markson’s copy of A Ringing Glass: The Life of Rainer Maria Rilke by Donald Prater is owned by John Harrison. The above scan is used with his permission. Copyright © John Harrison.

     Pg. 135 of David Markson’s copy of A Ringing Glass: The Life of Rainer Maria Rilke by Donald Prater:

     On which David Markson put a check next to a mention of Gwendolen John:
     “Augustus John’s sister Gwen, who had often posed for Rodin.”

     The same Gwen about whom Markson says…

     “Fleeing the start of World War II, Gwen John collapsed and died on a street in Dieppe.”
     From pg. 173 of Reader’s Block.

     David Markson’s copy of A Ringing Glass: The Life of Rainer Maria Rilke by Donald Prater is owned by John Harrison. The above scan is used with his permission. Copyright © John Harrison.

     Pg. 211 of David Markson’s copy of A Ringing Glass: The Life of Rainer Maria Rilke by Donald Prater:
     On which David Markson placed a check next to mention of Rainer Maria Rilke meeting Eleonora Duse:     “Carlo Placci came to spend a few weeks in Venice, and was instrumental in arranging an introduction to Eleonora Duse. He had long wanted to meet the great actress, dreamed even of seeing her one day in the dramatic poem The White Princess he had dedicated to her: but although opportunities could have been made, he had not pressed himself forward, and had continued to admire her from afar, not least, from the well-known story of her affair with D’Annunzio, as another in his Malte gallery of great women lovers.”
—
     Rilke “dreamed even of seeing her one day in the dramatic poem The White Princess.”
     This would never happen.
     “Eleonora Duse died of pneumonia. In Pittsburgh.”     According to pg. 20 of Markson’s This Is Not A Novel.
     “April 21, 1924, Eleonora Duse died on.”     According to pg. 131 of Markson’s The Last Novel.
—
     David Markson’s copy of A Ringing Glass: The Life of Rainer Maria Rilke by Donald Prater is owned by John Harrison. The above scan is used with his permission. Copyright © John Harrison.

     Pg. 211 of David Markson’s copy of A Ringing Glass: The Life of Rainer Maria Rilke by Donald Prater:

     On which David Markson placed a check next to mention of Rainer Maria Rilke meeting Eleonora Duse:
     “Carlo Placci came to spend a few weeks in Venice, and was instrumental in arranging an introduction to Eleonora Duse. He had long wanted to meet the great actress, dreamed even of seeing her one day in the dramatic poem The White Princess he had dedicated to her: but although opportunities could have been made, he had not pressed himself forward, and had continued to admire her from afar, not least, from the well-known story of her affair with D’Annunzio, as another in his Malte gallery of great women lovers.”

     Rilke “dreamed even of seeing her one day in the dramatic poem The White Princess.”

     This would never happen.

     “Eleonora Duse died of pneumonia. In Pittsburgh.”
     According to pg. 20 of Markson’s This Is Not A Novel.

     “April 21, 1924, Eleonora Duse died on.”
     According to pg. 131 of Markson’s The Last Novel.

     David Markson’s copy of A Ringing Glass: The Life of Rainer Maria Rilke by Donald Prater is owned by John Harrison. The above scan is used with his permission. Copyright © John Harrison.


     Pg. 393 of David Markson’s copy of A Ringing Glass: The Life of Rainer Maria Rilke by Donald Prater:
     On which Markson placed two checks in the margin next to a paragraph detailing the mutual admiration between Boris Pasternak and Rainer Maria Rilke and Marina Tsvetayeva.
—
     Markson makes one mention of the Pasternak-Rilke relationship, and one mention of the Tsvetayeva-Rilke relationship, in his Notecard Quartet.
     On pg. 20 of Reader’s Block there’s this tidbit about Pasternak’s love of Rilke:     “Boris Pasternak so admired Rilke that he carried two letters from him in his wallet for decades.”
     And then on pg. 169 of This Is Not A Novel, a quote from Tsvetayeva to Rilke:     “The kingdom of heaven, as described to Rilke by Marina Tsvetayeva after a lifetime of deprivation:      Never again to sweep floors.”
—
     David Markson’s copy of A Ringing Glass: The Life of Rainer Maria Rilke by Donald Prater is owned by John Harrison. The above scan is used with his permission. Copyright © John Harrison.

     Pg. 393 of David Markson’s copy of A Ringing Glass: The Life of Rainer Maria Rilke by Donald Prater:

     On which Markson placed two checks in the margin next to a paragraph detailing the mutual admiration between Boris Pasternak and Rainer Maria Rilke and Marina Tsvetayeva.

     Markson makes one mention of the Pasternak-Rilke relationship, and one mention of the Tsvetayeva-Rilke relationship, in his Notecard Quartet.

     On pg. 20 of Reader’s Block there’s this tidbit about Pasternak’s love of Rilke:
     “Boris Pasternak so admired Rilke that he carried two letters from him in his wallet for decades.”

     And then on pg. 169 of This Is Not A Novel, a quote from Tsvetayeva to Rilke:
     “The kingdom of heaven, as described to Rilke by Marina Tsvetayeva after a lifetime of deprivation:
     Never again to sweep floors.”

     David Markson’s copy of A Ringing Glass: The Life of Rainer Maria Rilke by Donald Prater is owned by John Harrison. The above scan is used with his permission. Copyright © John Harrison.

     Pg. 39 of David Markson’s copy of A Ringing Glass: The Life of Rainer Maria Rilke by Donald Prater:
     On which Markson placed a check next to mention of Rilke’s change of name:     “She refused to call him by the precious and feminine-sounding name of René, and used Rainer instead, a ‘plain, fine, German’ name which he adopted at once.”
—
    The she in this case being Lou Andreas-Salomé.
     Who is mentioned on pg. 89 of Markson’s novel Springer’s Progress, as part of a long list of women throughout the ages.
     And with whom René/Rainer had, according to the above scan, a relationship “like brother and sister, but from primeval times before incest became a sacrilege.”
     Before he became Rainer, did you know this about the “feminine-sounding” René?
     “Rilke was raised as a girl—in girl’s clothing—until he started school at the age of seven.”     According to pg. 8 of Markson’s The Last Novel.
     Markson then immediately follows that fact up with:     “The Rilke who would later devotedly collect lace.     And maintain apartments habitually overflowing with roses.”
     Yet also, the Rilke who changed his name from René to Rainer.
     At the behest of Lou Andreas-Salomé.
—
     David Markson’s copy of A Ringing Glass: The Life of Rainer Maria Rilke by Donald Prater is owned by John Harrison. The above scan is used with his permission. Copyright © John Harrison.

     Pg. 39 of David Markson’s copy of A Ringing Glass: The Life of Rainer Maria Rilke by Donald Prater:

     On which Markson placed a check next to mention of Rilke’s change of name:
     “She refused to call him by the precious and feminine-sounding name of René, and used Rainer instead, a ‘plain, fine, German’ name which he adopted at once.”

    The she in this case being Lou Andreas-Salomé.

     Who is mentioned on pg. 89 of Markson’s novel Springer’s Progress, as part of a long list of women throughout the ages.

     And with whom René/Rainer had, according to the above scan, a relationship “like brother and sister, but from primeval times before incest became a sacrilege.”

     Before he became Rainer, did you know this about the “feminine-sounding” René?

     “Rilke was raised as a girl—in girl’s clothing—until he started school at the age of seven.”
     According to pg. 8 of Markson’s The Last Novel.

     Markson then immediately follows that fact up with:
     “The Rilke who would later devotedly collect lace.
     And maintain apartments habitually overflowing with roses.”

     Yet also, the Rilke who changed his name from René to Rainer.

     At the behest of Lou Andreas-Salomé.

     David Markson’s copy of A Ringing Glass: The Life of Rainer Maria Rilke by Donald Prater is owned by John Harrison. The above scan is used with his permission. Copyright © John Harrison.


     Pg. 31 of David Markson’s copy of A Ringing Glass: The Life of Rainer Maria Rilke by Donald Prater:
     On which Markson left a check mark in the margin next to mention of Rilke’s introduction to the works of Jacobsen:     “To Wassermann also he owed his introduction to the works of Turgenev, and especially the Dane Jens Peter Jacobsen, the ‘lonely poet.’ Jacobsen remained for many years ‘a companion in spirit and a presence in the mind: it sometimes seemed to me an unbearable want that he should no longer be alive.’ In his ‘gentleness and secret lyrical tenderness,’ wrote Stefan Zweig, Jacobsen was the ‘poet of poets’ for a whole generation in Germany around the turn of the century, and the melancholy love-story Niels Lyhne their Werther.”
—
     In Reader’s Block on pg. 125, Markson writes:     “Niels Lyhne. Which Joyce, Ibsen, Hesse, Mann, Strindberg, Rilke, Freud, were all profound admirers of. Rilke calling all of Jacobsen’s work as indispensable to him as the Bible.”
     The only other mention of the “lonely poet” I can find in Markson’s tetralogy:     “Jens Peter Jacobsen died of tuberculosis.”     From pg. 81 of This Is Not A Novel.
—
     David Markson’s copy of A Ringing Glass: The Life of Rainer Maria Rilke by Donald Prater is owned by John Harrison. The above scan is used with his permission. Copyright © John Harrison.

     Pg. 31 of David Markson’s copy of A Ringing Glass: The Life of Rainer Maria Rilke by Donald Prater:

     On which Markson left a check mark in the margin next to mention of Rilke’s introduction to the works of Jacobsen:
     “To Wassermann also he owed his introduction to the works of Turgenev, and especially the Dane Jens Peter Jacobsen, the ‘lonely poet.’ Jacobsen remained for many years ‘a companion in spirit and a presence in the mind: it sometimes seemed to me an unbearable want that he should no longer be alive.’ In his ‘gentleness and secret lyrical tenderness,’ wrote Stefan Zweig, Jacobsen was the ‘poet of poets’ for a whole generation in Germany around the turn of the century, and the melancholy love-story Niels Lyhne their Werther.”

     In Reader’s Block on pg. 125, Markson writes:
     “Niels Lyhne. Which Joyce, Ibsen, Hesse, Mann, Strindberg, Rilke, Freud, were all profound admirers of. Rilke calling all of Jacobsen’s work as indispensable to him as the Bible.”

     The only other mention of the “lonely poet” I can find in Markson’s tetralogy:
     “Jens Peter Jacobsen died of tuberculosis.”
     From pg. 81 of This Is Not A Novel.

     David Markson’s copy of A Ringing Glass: The Life of Rainer Maria Rilke by Donald Prater is owned by John Harrison. The above scan is used with his permission. Copyright © John Harrison.

     Pg. 332 of David Markson’s copy of A Ringing Glass: The Life of Rainer Maria Rilke by Donald Prater:
     On which Markson placed a check in the margin next to some lines about Rilke’s appreciation for Valéry from the following paragraph:     “For that, the only gleam of light had come from his encounter, in February, with Paul Valéry’s ‘Cimetière Marin.’ He felt for the work of this poet an enthusiasm paralleled only by his admiration for Rodin, and at once made a translation of the poem, for himself and Merline. Coming in such perfection of form from one who, like himself, had ‘lived long with his poems’ before making them public, the ‘Cimetière marin’—celebration of the rebirth of inspiration and joyous affirmation of life—seemed to offer hope that he too might yet succeed in resolving the conflict between life and work, and learn to subordinate life’s dangers ‘like St. Hieronymous with the lion sleeping beside his desk.’”
—
     Cimetière marin.     Oft translated to:     The Graveyard by the Sea.
     The wind is rising! … We must try to live!     The huge air opens and shuts my book: the wave     Dares to explode out of the rocks in reeking     Spray. Fly away, my sun-bewildered pages!     Break, waves! Break up with your rejoicing surges     This quiet roof where sails like doves were pecking.  
     So reads the final stanza of that poem, as translated into English by C. Day Lewis.     So reads its end, its finish.
     “One does not finish a poem, one only abandons it.”      Is a line that pops up in Markson’s Reader’s Block on pg. 49.      Unattributed.
     “One does not finish a poem, one only abandons it.”     Is a quote from Valéry and perhaps explains why he “lived long with his poems,” according to the above scan.
     Yes, Valéry living long with his poems…
     In fact, as Markson explains on pg. 59 of This Is Not A Novel:     “For two decades, starting at twenty-five, Paul Valéry did not publish a line.”
     True, Valéry was something of a perfectionist.
     Which helps make sense of the following (that can be read on pg. 128 of Markson’s Reader’s Block):     “Valéry said he could never write a novel for one insurmountable reason. He would have to include sentences like The Marquise went out at five.”
     In an interview with Alexander Laurence, Markson reiterates this Valéry quote, and thoroughly agrees with it (and not only as a justification for not writing, but as one for not reading):     “But I don’t read fiction anymore because it bores me. It’s that line in Paul Valéry that’s quoted in Reader’s Block: He couldn’t write a novel because he couldn’t put down ‘The Marquis went out at five.’ The minute I read ‘Joe went walked across the street to say hello to Charlie’ I’m bored.”
     Fly away, my sun-bewildered pages!
—
     David Markson’s copy of A Ringing Glass: The Life of Rainer Maria Rilke by Donald Prater is owned by John Harrison. The above scan is used with his permission. Copyright © John Harrison.

     Pg. 332 of David Markson’s copy of A Ringing Glass: The Life of Rainer Maria Rilke by Donald Prater:

     On which Markson placed a check in the margin next to some lines about Rilke’s appreciation for Valéry from the following paragraph:
     “For that, the only gleam of light had come from his encounter, in February, with Paul Valéry’s ‘Cimetière Marin.’ He felt for the work of this poet an enthusiasm paralleled only by his admiration for Rodin, and at once made a translation of the poem, for himself and Merline. Coming in such perfection of form from one who, like himself, had ‘lived long with his poems’ before making them public, the ‘Cimetière marin’—celebration of the rebirth of inspiration and joyous affirmation of life—seemed to offer hope that he too might yet succeed in resolving the conflict between life and work, and learn to subordinate life’s dangers ‘like St. Hieronymous with the lion sleeping beside his desk.’”

     Cimetière marin.
     Oft translated to:
     The Graveyard by the Sea.

     The wind is rising! … We must try to live!
     The huge air opens and shuts my book: the wave
     Dares to explode out of the rocks in reeking
     Spray. Fly away, my sun-bewildered pages!
     Break, waves! Break up with your rejoicing surges
     This quiet roof where sails like doves were pecking. 

     So reads the final stanza of that poem, as translated into English by C. Day Lewis.
     So reads its end, its finish.

     “One does not finish a poem, one only abandons it.”
     Is a line that pops up in Markson’s Reader’s Block on pg. 49.
     Unattributed.

     “One does not finish a poem, one only abandons it.”
     Is a quote from Valéry and perhaps explains why he “lived long with his poems,” according to the above scan.

     Yes, Valéry living long with his poems…

     In fact, as Markson explains on pg. 59 of This Is Not A Novel:
     “For two decades, starting at twenty-five, Paul Valéry did not publish a line.”

     True, Valéry was something of a perfectionist.

     Which helps make sense of the following (that can be read on pg. 128 of Markson’s Reader’s Block):
     “Valéry said he could never write a novel for one insurmountable reason. He would have to include sentences like The Marquise went out at five.”

     In an interview with Alexander Laurence, Markson reiterates this Valéry quote, and thoroughly agrees with it (and not only as a justification for not writing, but as one for not reading):
     “But I don’t read fiction anymore because it bores me. It’s that line in Paul Valéry that’s quoted in Reader’s Block: He couldn’t write a novel because he couldn’t put down ‘The Marquis went out at five.’ The minute I read ‘Joe went walked across the street to say hello to Charlie’ I’m bored.”

     Fly away, my sun-bewildered pages!

     David Markson’s copy of A Ringing Glass: The Life of Rainer Maria Rilke by Donald Prater is owned by John Harrison. The above scan is used with his permission. Copyright © John Harrison.

     Pg. 159 of David Markson’s copy of A Ringing Glass: The Life of Rainer Maria Rilke by Donald Prater:
     On which Markson placed a check mark next to the following information about Rainer Maria Rilke’s New Poems:     “The second volume of the New Poems would be dedicated ‘A mon grand ami Auguste Rodin.’”
—
     The friendship of Rainer Maria Rilke and Auguste Rodin.
     Mentioned only once together in Markson’s Notecard Quartet, though separately they both make many appearances throughout those four novels.
     Rainer Maria Rilke and Auguste Rodin.     Together.     On pg. 183 of The Last Novel:     “One must go on working. And one must have patience.     Rodin told Rilke.”
     A mon grand ami Auguste Rodin.
     = To my great friend Auguste Rodin.
—
     David Markson’s copy of A Ringing Glass: The Life of Rainer Maria Rilke by Donald Prater is owned by John Harrison. The above scan is used with his permission. Copyright © John Harrison.

     Pg. 159 of David Markson’s copy of A Ringing Glass: The Life of Rainer Maria Rilke by Donald Prater:

     On which Markson placed a check mark next to the following information about Rainer Maria Rilke’s New Poems:
     “The second volume of the New Poems would be dedicated ‘A mon grand ami Auguste Rodin.’”

     The friendship of Rainer Maria Rilke and Auguste Rodin.

     Mentioned only once together in Markson’s Notecard Quartet, though separately they both make many appearances throughout those four novels.

     Rainer Maria Rilke and Auguste Rodin.
     Together.
     On pg. 183 of The Last Novel:
     “One must go on working. And one must have patience.
     Rodin told Rilke.”

     A mon grand ami Auguste Rodin.

     = To my great friend Auguste Rodin.

     David Markson’s copy of A Ringing Glass: The Life of Rainer Maria Rilke by Donald Prater is owned by John Harrison. The above scan is used with his permission. Copyright © John Harrison.

     Pg. 286 of David Markson’s copy of A Ringing Glass: The Life of Rainer Maria Rilke by Donald Prater:
     On which Markson placed a check next to the following re: Rilke:     “Kessler in his diary judged him, shrewdly, as an aesthete who was ready for any adventure of the spirit or of form, but who lacked the simultaneous capacity for adventures of brutal reality which others like Dante, Shakespeare, or Byron had shown in such times of upheaval.”
—
     Kessler in his diary judged him, shrewdly, as an aesthete…etc. etc.
     “For whatever aesthete’s reasons, Rilke could not be troubled to attend his own daughter’s wedding.”     - Markson, Reader’s Block, pg. 162.
—
     David Markson’s copy of A Ringing Glass: The Life of Rainer Maria Rilke by Donald Prater is owned by John Harrison. The above scan is used with his permission. Copyright © John Harrison.

     Pg. 286 of David Markson’s copy of A Ringing Glass: The Life of Rainer Maria Rilke by Donald Prater:

     On which Markson placed a check next to the following re: Rilke:
     “Kessler in his diary judged him, shrewdly, as an aesthete who was ready for any adventure of the spirit or of form, but who lacked the simultaneous capacity for adventures of brutal reality which others like Dante, Shakespeare, or Byron had shown in such times of upheaval.”

     Kessler in his diary judged him, shrewdly, as an aesthete…etc. etc.

     “For whatever aesthete’s reasons, Rilke could not be troubled to attend his own daughter’s wedding.”
     - Markson, Reader’s Block, pg. 162.

     David Markson’s copy of A Ringing Glass: The Life of Rainer Maria Rilke by Donald Prater is owned by John Harrison. The above scan is used with his permission. Copyright © John Harrison.



     The first page of David Markson’s copy of A Ringing Glass: The Life of Rainer Maria Rilke by Donald Prater:
     On which Markson wrote as an inscription:     “Markson —-          NYC · 1992”
—
     Rilke pops up in various places throughout Markson’s tetralogy…
     Of Rilke’s youth, Markson mentions on pg. 8 of The Last Novel:     “Rilke was raised as a girl—in girl’s clothing—until he started school at the age of seven.”
     He immediately follows this by writing:     “The Rilke who would later devotedly collect lace.     And maintain apartments habitually overflowing with roses.”
     Was one of these apartments of his habitually overflowing with roses the one in the same building as Cocteau?      “For a time, Rilke and Cocteau had apartments in the same Paris building—evidently without ever becoming acquainted.”     Writes Markson on pg. 53 of The Last Novel.
     The Rilke who also, when not staying in an apartment habitually overflowing with roses, or in an apartment in the same building as Cocteau, apparently was frequently a houseguest of others, according to Markson on pg. 56 of Reader’s Block:     “Rilke was eternally someone’s houseguest. Once he had fifty different addresses in four years.”
     On pg. 20 of Reader’s Block there’s this tidbit about Pasternak’s love of Rilke:     “Boris Pasternak so admired Rilke that he carried two letters from him in his wallet for decades.”
     But elsewhere we find criticism, as on pg. 159 of The Last Novel:     “Rilke’s over-sentimentalizing of the poor:     Did he ever once sit shivering in an attic? Kurt Tucholsky asked.”
     On pg. 172 of The Last Novel:     “Gide-ists. Rilke-ists. Fraudulent existential witch doctors. Pallid worms in the cheese of capitalism. Intellectuals.     Being among Pablo Neruda’s more kindly appellations for authors not concerned with politics.”
     “The greatest lesbian poet since Sappho, Auden called Rilke.”     Which Markson relays on pg. 34 of This Is Not A Novel.
     Of things told to Rilke:     On pg. 183 of The Last Novel:     “One must go on working. And one must have patience.     Rodin told Rilke.”
     “The kingdom of heaven, as described to Rilke by Marina Tsvetayeva after a lifetime of deprivation:      Never again to sweep floors.”      Markson writes on pg. 169 of This Is Not A Novel.
     On pg. 89 of Reader’s Block Markson mentions Rilke’s wife by name:      “Clara Westhoff.”
     Also, in Reader’s Block, on pg. 153, a patroness of Rilke is mentioned by name:     “Princess Marie von Thurn und Taxis-Hohenlohe.”
     On pg. 162 of Reader’s Block:      “For whatever aesthete’s reasons, Rilke could not be troubled to attend his own daughter’s wedding.”
     Which leaves us all probably thinking like Berryman did, as relayed by Markson on the following page (pg. 163 of Reader’s Block):      “John Berryman:      Rilke was a jerk.”
     Interesting fact about the jerk:     According to pg. 117 of Reader’s Block:      “Rilke never read a daily newspaper.”
     And on pg. 81 of This Is Not A Novel, Markson makes mention of the fact that:      “Rilke wrote standing up.”
     “Rilke wrote most of the Duino Elegies, and the Sonnets to Orpheus, in less than one month.”     Markson lets us know on pg. 139 of Reader’s Block:
     Markson mentions the Duino Elegies again on pgs. 47-48 of This Is Not A Novel:      ”Les Saltimbanques, which inspired the fifth of the Duino Elegies:      Rilke in fact having been a guest in a home in Munich where the canvas hung above his desk for months.”     (The Rilke that was always the houseguest, as we already learned…)
     Another poem by Rilke is mentioned pages later (on pg. 145 of Reader’s Block):      “Du musst dein Leben ändern.”      (Translated to “Archaic Torso of Apollo” in English.)
     As the deaths of artists are everywhere in the tetralogy, Markson obviously makes mention of Rilke’s final moments (and does so many times).     The first being on pg. 31 of Reader’s Block:     “Rilke died of leukemia.”
     And again his death pops up on pg. 86 of Reader’s Block:     “Joyce, Hesse, Mann, and Rilke all died in Switzerland.”
     Markson again makes mention of those four (Joyce, Hesse, Mann, and Rilke) later on in Reader’s Block on pg. 125:     “Niels Lyhne. Which Joyce, Ibsen, Hesse, Mann, Strindberg, Rilke, Freud, were all profound admirers of. Rilke calling all of Jacobsen’s work as indispensable to him as the Bible.”
     But he is not done with mentioning Rilke’s death, which pops up on pg. 183 of Vanishing Point:     “The legend that Rilke died after being pricked by the thorn of a rose.     Actually, from leukemia.”
     Immediately followed by the specifics of Rilke’s death:     “Valmont, near Glion, Switzerland. 3:30 AM. December 29, 1926.”
—
     David Markson’s copy of A Ringing Glass: The Life of Rainer Maria Rilke by Donald Prater is owned by John Harrison. The above scan is used with his permission. Copyright © John Harrison.

     The first page of David Markson’s copy of A Ringing Glass: The Life of Rainer Maria Rilke by Donald Prater:

     On which Markson wrote as an inscription:
     “Markson —-
          NYC · 1992”

     Rilke pops up in various places throughout Markson’s tetralogy…

     Of Rilke’s youth, Markson mentions on pg. 8 of The Last Novel:
     “Rilke was raised as a girl—in girl’s clothing—until he started school at the age of seven.”

     He immediately follows this by writing:
     “The Rilke who would later devotedly collect lace.
     And maintain apartments habitually overflowing with roses.”

     Was one of these apartments of his habitually overflowing with roses the one in the same building as Cocteau?
     “For a time, Rilke and Cocteau had apartments in the same Paris building—evidently without ever becoming acquainted.”
     Writes Markson on pg. 53 of The Last Novel.

     The Rilke who also, when not staying in an apartment habitually overflowing with roses, or in an apartment in the same building as Cocteau, apparently was frequently a houseguest of others, according to Markson on pg. 56 of Reader’s Block:
     “Rilke was eternally someone’s houseguest. Once he had fifty different addresses in four years.”

     On pg. 20 of Reader’s Block there’s this tidbit about Pasternak’s love of Rilke:
     “Boris Pasternak so admired Rilke that he carried two letters from him in his wallet for decades.”

     But elsewhere we find criticism, as on pg. 159 of The Last Novel:
     “Rilke’s over-sentimentalizing of the poor:
     Did he ever once sit shivering in an attic? Kurt Tucholsky asked.”

     On pg. 172 of The Last Novel:
     “Gide-ists. Rilke-ists. Fraudulent existential witch doctors. Pallid worms in the cheese of capitalism. Intellectuals.
     Being among Pablo Neruda’s more kindly appellations for authors not concerned with politics.”

     “The greatest lesbian poet since Sappho, Auden called Rilke.”
     Which Markson relays on pg. 34 of This Is Not A Novel.

     Of things told to Rilke:
     On pg. 183 of The Last Novel:
     “One must go on working. And one must have patience.
     Rodin told Rilke.”

     “The kingdom of heaven, as described to Rilke by Marina Tsvetayeva after a lifetime of deprivation:
     Never again to sweep floors.”
     Markson writes on pg. 169 of This Is Not A Novel.

     On pg. 89 of Reader’s Block Markson mentions Rilke’s wife by name:
     “Clara Westhoff.”

     Also, in Reader’s Block, on pg. 153, a patroness of Rilke is mentioned by name:
     “Princess Marie von Thurn und Taxis-Hohenlohe.”

     On pg. 162 of Reader’s Block:
     “For whatever aesthete’s reasons, Rilke could not be troubled to attend his own daughter’s wedding.”

     Which leaves us all probably thinking like Berryman did, as relayed by Markson on the following page (pg. 163 of Reader’s Block):
     “John Berryman:
     Rilke was a jerk.”

     Interesting fact about the jerk:
     According to pg. 117 of Reader’s Block:
     “Rilke never read a daily newspaper.”

     And on pg. 81 of This Is Not A Novel, Markson makes mention of the fact that:
     “Rilke wrote standing up.”

     “Rilke wrote most of the Duino Elegies, and the Sonnets to Orpheus, in less than one month.”
     Markson lets us know on pg. 139 of Reader’s Block:

     Markson mentions the Duino Elegies again on pgs. 47-48 of This Is Not A Novel:
     ”Les Saltimbanques, which inspired the fifth of the Duino Elegies:
     Rilke in fact having been a guest in a home in Munich where the canvas hung above his desk for months.”
     (The Rilke that was always the houseguest, as we already learned…)

     Another poem by Rilke is mentioned pages later (on pg. 145 of Reader’s Block):
     “Du musst dein Leben ändern.”
     (Translated to “Archaic Torso of Apollo” in English.)

     As the deaths of artists are everywhere in the tetralogy, Markson obviously makes mention of Rilke’s final moments (and does so many times).
     The first being on pg. 31 of Reader’s Block:
     “Rilke died of leukemia.”

     And again his death pops up on pg. 86 of Reader’s Block:
     “Joyce, Hesse, Mann, and Rilke all died in Switzerland.”

     Markson again makes mention of those four (Joyce, Hesse, Mann, and Rilke) later on in Reader’s Block on pg. 125:
     “Niels Lyhne. Which Joyce, Ibsen, Hesse, Mann, Strindberg, Rilke, Freud, were all profound admirers of. Rilke calling all of Jacobsen’s work as indispensable to him as the Bible.”

     But he is not done with mentioning Rilke’s death, which pops up on pg. 183 of Vanishing Point:
     “The legend that Rilke died after being pricked by the thorn of a rose.
     Actually, from leukemia.”

     Immediately followed by the specifics of Rilke’s death:
     “Valmont, near Glion, Switzerland. 3:30 AM. December 29, 1926.”

     David Markson’s copy of A Ringing Glass: The Life of Rainer Maria Rilke by Donald Prater is owned by John Harrison. The above scan is used with his permission. Copyright © John Harrison.


     Pg. 347 of David Markson’s copy of A Ringing Glass: The Life of Rainer Maria Rilke by Donald Prater:
     On which David Markson has placed a check next to the following information re: Rilke’s Duino Elegies and the Sonnets to Orpheus:    “The very next day, quite unexpectedly as at Duino, came the turn. The spirit was suddenly upon him: but, to his own surprise, what he began to write was not the continuation of the Elegies, but a sequence of ‘Sonnets to Orpheus,’ which as they progressed revealed themselves as a memorial to Wera Knoop. In three days he completed a cycle of twenty-five, in a free handling of the classic sonnet form, and on 7 February sent off to Gertrud Knoop a transcript of what had been ‘granted’ him.”
—
     The period of intense inspiration described in the scan above, in which Rainer Maria Rilke wrote two of his masterworks is mentioned in Markson’s Notecard Quartet:
     “Rilke wrote most of the Duino Elegies, and the Sonnets to Orpheus, in less than one month.”     - Markson, Reader’s Block, pg. 139.
—
     David Markson’s copy of A Ringing Glass: The Life of Rainer Maria Rilke by Donald Prater is owned by John Harrison. The above scan is used with his permission. Copyright © John Harrison.

     Pg. 347 of David Markson’s copy of A Ringing Glass: The Life of Rainer Maria Rilke by Donald Prater:

     On which David Markson has placed a check next to the following information re: Rilke’s Duino Elegies and the Sonnets to Orpheus:
    “The very next day, quite unexpectedly as at Duino, came the turn. The spirit was suddenly upon him: but, to his own surprise, what he began to write was not the continuation of the Elegies, but a sequence of ‘Sonnets to Orpheus,’ which as they progressed revealed themselves as a memorial to Wera Knoop. In three days he completed a cycle of twenty-five, in a free handling of the classic sonnet form, and on 7 February sent off to Gertrud Knoop a transcript of what had been ‘granted’ him.”

     The period of intense inspiration described in the scan above, in which Rainer Maria Rilke wrote two of his masterworks is mentioned in Markson’s Notecard Quartet:

     “Rilke wrote most of the Duino Elegies, and the Sonnets to Orpheus, in less than one month.”
     - Markson, Reader’s Block, pg. 139.

     David Markson’s copy of A Ringing Glass: The Life of Rainer Maria Rilke by Donald Prater is owned by John Harrison. The above scan is used with his permission. Copyright © John Harrison.