Live The Questions
By Gavin Aung Than / zenpencils.com
Apr 18, 2016

Rainer Maria Rilke (1875-1926) was an Austrian writer and is considered one of the greatest poets of the 20th century. Although he is rightly recognised for his poetry, he is also famous for his correspondence with a young writer collected in Letters to a Young Poet.

Rilke was the son of an army officer who was sent to military school to follow in his father’s footsteps. Thankfully, he managed to leave and pursue his calling of becoming a writer. Knowing this, 19 year-old aspiring poet Franz Kappus, who was then a cadet in military school, wrote to Rilke asking for advice as to which path he should choose. In his 10 letters to Kappas, Rilke offered profound advice on life, love and art, amazing considering that Rilke wasn’t even 30 at the time. Kappus published the letters in 1929, after Rilke had died.

In his first letter, after Kappus had asked him to critique his poetry, Rilke wrote:
“You are looking outside, and that is what you should most avoid right now. No one can advise or help you – no one. There is only one thing you should do. Go into yourself. Find out the reason that commands you to write; see whether it has spread its roots into the very depths of your heart; confess to yourself whether you would have to die if you were forbidden to write. This most of all: ask yourself in the most silent hour of your night: must I write?”

The quote used in the comic is probably the most famous passage from Rilke’s letters and is taken from Letter #4. (You can read all of the letters at that link)

There’s some controversy in Australia at the moment over a government initiative calledSafe Schools. It’s a program designed to help LGBT students cope with bullying and deal with questions they might have about their sexuality. It’s brought out all sorts of homophobia and bigotry from those against the program. That got me thinking about doing a comic about a transgender student. I was also inspired by Lana Wachowski’s fantastic Human Rights Visibility Award acceptance speech in 2012.

0.0 ·
0
Trending Today
Revolution and American Indians: “Marxism is as Alien to My Culture as Capitalism”
Russell Means238,539 views today ·
Welcome to Marinaleda: The Spanish Anti-Capitalist Town With Equal Wage Full Employment and $19 Housing
Jade Small21,996 views today ·
Without Saying a Word This 6 Minute Clip From Samsara Will Make You Speechless
6 min19,376 views today ·
MP Says Government is Intentionally Making People Destitute to Prevent Organised Opposition
2 min17,954 views today ·
Every Town Needs a Remakery
Jeremy Williams10,452 views today ·
Five Maps That Will Change How You See the World
Donald Houston, University of Portsmouth10,390 views today ·
Today I Rise: This Beautiful Short Film Is Like a Love Poem For Your Heart and Soul
4 min7,082 views today ·
Hooded: A Multimedia Project to Challenge and Change How Young Black Men Are Portrayed
3 min3,939 views today ·
Republican Fight to Criminalize Protest Tactics
5 min3,744 views today ·
Load More
New
5 Things You Can Do To Help Immigrant and Muslim Neighbors
Lornet Turnbull
Why We Can and Should Abolish the Police and Prison Industrial Complex
2 min
Break the Chain - Fortnight of Action Against Fracking Supply Chain Begins
Andrew Butler
Republican Fight to Criminalize Protest Tactics
5 min
Trouble, Ep. 1 - Killing the Black Snake
30 min
Five Maps That Will Change How You See the World
Donald Houston, University of Portsmouth
Hooded: A Multimedia Project to Challenge and Change How Young Black Men Are Portrayed
3 min
The Edible Bus Stop: Community Gardens From Neglected Sites
2 min
'Disaster': Trump Administration Signs off on Keystone XL Pipeline
Nika Knight
Load More
What's Next
The Lie We Live
8 min
Another World (2014) (trailer)
3 min
Fusk-åka - Rik Vs. Hemlös / Fare Evasion - Rich Vs. poor
3 min
Like us on Facebook?
Live The Questions