The German Quarterly 83 (3):275-296 (2010)

Jennifer Anna Gosetti-Ferencei
Johns Hopkins University
The present study of the philosophical orientation within the poetics of Rilke and Stevens aims to show that in the context of modern poetry, transcendence, or “crossing beyond,” must be understood in two distinct senses, as vertical and horizontal projections. The usurpation of one by the other or the transfer between them distinguishes the poetry of Rilke and Stevens and makes a comparative reading particularly illuminating. The fact that Rilke and Stevens are two of the most widely invoked poets in the phenomenological tradition will help to establish a modern sense of transcendence distinct from a traditional or Romantic longing for a realm above and beyond earthly existence. This would be an “immanent” transcendence, a crossing of horizons between perception and imagination or imagination and reality, by the disclosures and inventions of which, it is argued here, the more traditional notion of transcendence is usurped in distinct ways.
Keywords transcendence  Rainer Maria Rilke  Wallace Stevens  poetics  phenomenology
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