Rainer Maria Rilke, the Bohemian-Austrian poet and novelist spent the latter part of his life in Switzerland. One of the most “lyrically intense” German-language poets, his works, such as the Duino Elegies, have inspired many artists, ranging from author Graham Greene to painter Paul Klee. One British university professor even spent all his holidays following in the footsteps of Rilke from Turkey to Russia. Just after his 51st birthday Rilke died in Montreux overlooking Lake Geneva on 29 December 1926 from a late diagnosed leukemia. But he is remembered most steadfastly in the Raron and Sierre region of the Valais, which he embraced as a version of Provence. Journalist, author and healthy-flying activist Farrol Kahn has launched into his first work of fiction with a biography of Rilke. He explains his long fascination with the poet and his work.
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