Monday, June 15, 2015

Château de Muzot (also known as Maison Muzot or Muzot Castle) is a 13th-century fortified manor house located near Veyras in Switzerland's Rhone Valley.

In 1921, it was purchased by Swiss merchant and arts patron Werner Reinhart who then invited Bohemian-Austrian poet Rainer Maria Rilke (1875-1926) to live there rent-free. It was at Muzot, during a few weeks in February 1922, that Rilke after a long silence caused by severe depression finally completed the Duino Elegies and wrote the entire Sonnets to Orpheus (both published in 1923).

Rilke: Duino Elegies and Sonnets to Orpheus

From 1921 to 1926, Muzot was the home of Bohemian-Austrian poet Rainer Maria Rilke (1875-1926). Here, after ten years of work and delays, in February 1922 Rilke finished work on the Duino Elegies, a collection of ten long poems concerning deeply mystical and philosophical themes. Muzot appears in a reference within the poem cycle Sonnets from China (1936) by British poet W.H. Auden (1907â€"1973) who was inspired by Rilke.

The reference here to stroking "that little tower" is Muzot, and is derived from a series of letters written while Rilke was completing the Elegies including a letter he wrote to his current lover Baladine Klossowska, and one to his former lover, Lou Andreas-Salomé. In the letter to Andreas-Salomé, he writes "I went out and stroked the little Muzot, which protected it and me and finally granted it, like a large old animal.".


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