Letters to Benvenuta

byRainer Maria Rilke. Philosophical Library, $2.75.
It was while he was in Paris in 1914 that there began between the great German poet and a young Viennese pianist the intensive twenty-four-dav correspondence of which Letters to Benvenuta represents but part. Magda von Hattingberg, whom Rilke addressed as “ Benvenuta,”has withheld her own contributions to the exchange. However, it is not a further documentation of their unusual association (of which Magda von Hattingberg wrote in Rilke and Benvenuta, 1949) that is intended, but a new, revealing fragment of the poet himself — of his roving, lively thought with its teeming intimations of man’s innate mystery and its exuberant intellectuality and wit.