About the Book
Rilke was a genius who wrote lyric poetry and had a tragic love affair with Merline Klossowska, the mother of the famous artist Balthus.
In 1921, Rilke had hit a creative block. He met Merline who loved him as a man rather than as a famous poet. But she wreaks havoc in his life. She creates a conflict between his inner world and his passion for her. It was her love that lifted him to the heights during lovemaking.
The current Palazzo Salis dates back to 1630, when it was the home of Baptist von Salis, a member of a patrician family who had lived in the area for centuries. In 1701, the monumental building on the northern edge of Soglio received its present look.
The Palazzo Salis has been run as a hotel since 1876. A number of famous guests have stayed here, including Rainer Maria Rilke, Giovanni Segantini, Hermann Burger and Alberto Giacometti.
In 1919, Rilke spent five weeks in Sils-Soglio, Grisons from July 24-September 21. Merline wrote her first letter to Rilke on July 30 and he replied on August 4.